Recording industry mega-stars Robin Thicke (pictured left), T.I. (Clifford Harris, Jr., pictured center), and Pharrell Williams (pictured) have reportedly come together to file a lawsuit against Marvin Gaye’s (pictured below) family and Bridgeport Music, which owns a few of Funkadelic’s compositions, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The trio of artists, who perform and appear in the summer monster hit “Blurred Lines,” are accused of “copying” Gaye’s “Got To Give It Up” and Funkadelic’s “Sexy Ways” in the song.
A copy of the lawsuit, which was reportedly filed on Thursday in a California federal court, states the following:
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.
Gaye’s family is reportedly alleging that “Blurred Lines” and “Got To Give It Up” sound very similar and the defendants are claiming ownership of the entire composition as opposed to just a specific work.
Listen to Marvin Gaye’s “Got To Give It Up” here:
As far as Funkadelic’s song “Sexy Ways,” the suit also alleges similarities between the Thicke hit and the funk classic.
The plaintiffs, however, claim that they do not see any similarities involving their song and the legendary hits and thus allege in court documents:
But there are no similarities between plaintiffs’ composition and those the claimants allege they own, other than commonplace musical elements, states the lawsuit. Plaintiffs created a hit and did it without copying anyone else’s composition.
Listen to Funkadelic’s “Sexy Ways” here:
There are some who suggest that Gaye’s classic does suspiciously sound similar to Thicke’s song, like New York Times critic Jon Caramanica who in his August 2 column noted:
‘Blurred Lines’ is influenced heavily by Marvin Gaye’s “Got to Give It Up,” and even with the producer Pharrell Williams’s clean, large drums and a sizzling, naughty guest rap by T.I., Mr. Thicke can’t help himself — he loves yesterday way more than today.
Still, the lawsuit argues that “being reminiscent of a ‘sound’ is not copyright infringement’ and that “the intent in producing ‘Blurred Lines’ was to evoke an era” rather than a specific song. The trio is also hopeful that the Gaye family does not have a valid claim to “Got To Give It Up’s” copyright to claim infringement.
George Clinton, the former leader of Funkadelic, who has had beefs in the past with Bridgeport Music, seems to be in total support of the trio of musicians. He recently tweeted via his Twitteraccount:
No sample of #Funkadelic‘s ‘Sexy Ways’ in @RobinThicke‘s ‘Blurred Lines’ – yet Armen Boladian thinks so? We support @RobinThicke@Pharrell!
“Blurred Lines” has come under fire for its lyrics and video — both having been deemed sexist. Thicke has fired back at his critics defending the song, referring to it as “respectful” and one that was crafted to open up conversations about relationships between men and women.