Music publishing, sound recordings
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Robin Thicke (along with Pharrell Williams and T.I.) has 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” – THE party anthem of 2013 – 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.
In an interesting twist, Billboard reported that prior to his federal suit, it seems that Robin Thicke allegedly offered a substantial payout to the family of Marvin Gaye