Robin Thicke sues for pre-emptive copyright protection of 'Blurred Lines'

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Image Credit: Kevin Winter/Getty Images

With apologies to Miley Cyrus, Daft Punk, and Justin Timberlake, Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” is undoubtedly the song that will define the summer of 2013. So naturally, with the sort of exposure and success it has scored, it has come under fire from people trying to get a piece of the action.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Thicke (along with track cohorts Pharrell Williams and T.I.) filed a suit in federal court in California against both the family of Marvin Gaye and a publishing company that holds the rights to some of Funkadelic’s compositions. The reason? Both of those parties have claimed that “Blurred Lines” borrows from their own work, and thus they should be entitled to royalties.

The Gaye family’s claim is especially absurd, as they claim that “Blurred Lines” feels and sounds the same as Gaye’s “Got To Give It Up,” and that, according to the suit, “the Gaye defendants are claiming ownership of an entire genre, as opposed to a specific work.”

Meanwhile, Bridgeport Music says that “Blurred Lines” sounds too much like Funkadelic’s “Sexy Ways.” Both parties have threatened litigation if they aren’t paid, which is why Thicke, Williams, and T.I. have filed suit in order to get the matter settled immediately.

Give a listen to “Blurred Lines,” Gaye’s “Got to Give It Up,” and Funkadelic’s “Sexy Ways” below. 

While “Blurred Lines” certainly owes a lot stylistically to both of those tracks, I would say there’s no way there’s copyright infringement going on here. But what do you think? Let us know if you hear any actionable similarities in the comments.


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