Robin Thicke Sues Marvin Gaye's Family Over "Blurred Lines"

Singer is denying copyright infringement claims.

Posted: 08/16/2013 12:31 PM EDT
Robin Thicke

Robin Thicke's "Blurred Lines" is a certified smash, and the singer is suing to protect rights to it, his biggest single yet. Thicke, Clifford Harris Jr. (aka T.I.) and Pharrell Williams filed suit against the family of Marvin Gaye  and Bridgeport Music Inc. Thursday (Aug. 15) amid claims that the song is similar to the late music legend's "Got to Give It Up" and the Funkadelic's "Sexy Ways."

According to The Hollywood Reporter, plaintiffs Thicke, Williams and Harris were "reluctant" to file and noted themselves as having the "utmost respect and admiration" for Gaye and George Clinton's Funkadelic collective. But, they claim, "Defendants continue to insist that plaintiffs' massively successful composition 'Blurred Lines,' copies 'their' compositions."

Gaye's family, which also owns rights to some of the Funkadelic's songs, is seeking financial retribution, accusing the "Blurred Lines" trio of stealing the same "feel" as "Got to Give It Up" sentiments shared by a New York Times critic, who called the single "influenced heavily" by the 1977 recording.

But, maintains Thicke, Williams and Harris, other than "common place musical elements," they "created a hit and did so without copying anyone else's composition." They are seeking legal declaration that the song doesn't violate copyright rules. "Being reminiscent of a 'sound' is not copyright infringement," the lawsuit points out.

Meanwhile, Clinton doesn't believe "Blurred Lines" ripped off his music either and distanced himself from Bridgepart owner Armen Boladian, tweeting "No sample of #Funkadelic's 'Sexy Ways' in @robinthicke's 'Blurred Lines' - yet Armen Boladian thinks so? We support @robinthicke @Pharrell!" 

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