Robin Thicke has not been shy about where he took inspiration for his smash-hit “Blurred Lines.” He’s told a number of interviewers that his life-long love of Marvin Gaye helped spur the song of the summer. But now, according to the Hollywood Reporter, Thicke has launched legal action against Gaye’s family and a company that owns some of legendary funk band Funkadelic’s songs in order to shield “Lines” from potential legal copyright actions.
The suit, filed in California federal court on Friday on behalf of Thicke, T.I. (Clifford Harris, Jr.) and producer/co-songwriter Pharrell Williams was lodged against Gaye’s estate and Bridgeport Music over complaints that “Lines” bears similarities to at least two other songs. The Gayes and Bridgeport have been threatening legal action if they don’t get a financial settlement over their claims that “Lines” is too similar to Gaye’s “Got to Give It Up” and Funkadelic’s “Sexy Ways.”
The action reads, “Plaintiffs, who have the utmost respect for and admiration of Marvin Gaye, Funkadelic and their musical legacies, reluctantly file this action in the face of multiple adverse claims from alleged successors in interest to those artists. Defendants continue to insist that plaintiffs’ massively successful composition, ‘Blurred Lines,’ copies ‘their’ compositions.”
Thicke has spoken in multiple interviews about his love of the Gaye song and the suit claims that the Gaye family is alleging that “Lines” has the same “feel” and “sound” as “Give It Up” and that the Gaye estate is claiming ownership of “an entire genre, as opposed to a specific work.”
“But there are no similarities between plaintiffs’ composition and those the claimants allege they own, other than commonplace musical elements,” the lawsuit argues. “Plaintiffs created a hit and did it without copying anyone else’s composition.”