In a continuing controversy that has interested North Carolina music fans, the family of Marvin Gaye has accused Robin Thicke of a history of taking Gaye’s material and has filed a lawsuit against him. The family initially threatened legal action against Thicke when they alleged that he based much of his recent hit song “Blurred Lines” from Gaye’s 1977 “Got to Give It Up”. Thicke and his collaborators subsequently filed suit asking the court to rule that his song was not a copy. The current business litigation is in the form of a counterclaim filed by the Gaye family in which they are asserting that Thicke used Gaye’s song “After the Dance” when he co-created “Love After War”.
The attorney for the Gaye family reported that they have pulled together documentation regarding their case and hope to present it to a judge and jury who can make a decision. The family is seeking an unknown amount of financial compensation and wants Thicke and any co-authors of songs to cease using Gaye’s material.
Thicke has admitted that he was inspired by Gaye’s music, which drew fans to his songs and increased sales and revenue. However, he claims that the musical aspects of his songs differ from Gaye’s. Although he explained that Gaye was a strong influence in his music and intended to capture the sense of a musical period, he added that the Gaye family is trying to own an entire genre. Gaye’s family insists that the songs ‘feel” the same and petitioned an expert to confirm their claim.
The counterclaim action was filed by the Gaye family in a California federal court. In addition to Thicke, the lawsuit also names various music publishers and record companies as defendants.
Source: USA Today, “Lawsuit: Thicke blurred lines between admiration, theft“, Nate Rau, October 30, 2013