The heated legal fight between Marvin Gaye’s estate and Robin Thicke has been going on for over a year now due to the alleged similarities between “Got To Give It Up” and last year’s song of the summer “Blurred Lines.” Most recently, the Gaye children have filed summary judgement papers that base their case around media interviews and depositions that Thicke and co-writer and producer Pharrell Williams gave that mention the influence Gaye’s song had on writing “Blurred Lines.” They also submitted an audio mash-up that is meant to demonstrate “concrete musical illustrations of the substantial similarities” between the two songs.
The exact mash-up the family put together has not been released yet, but here’s one on Youtube that points out the similarities between the two songs:
Back in July, Thicke and Williams filed their own summary judgement and asserted that Gaye’s children “smelled money and rushed to make their infringement demand, but they chose to ignore that the songs had no similarity in actual notes or phrases.” The Gaye estate denies that, saying:
Not only was it, therefore, Thicke and Williams who actually ‘smelled money,’ but it was they who then played the role of bully by suing Marvin Gaye’s children when the Gaye children had the temerity to question why their father was not credited, or why ‘Got to Give it Up’ was not licensed, betting that the Gaye children would not have the will or resources to fight this battle. Thicke and Williams bet wrong, and they will now have to face the consequences of their misjudgment and their blatant copyright infringement.
Both teams have recruited musicology experts to point out similar or divergent chord progressions and notes. The main argument boils down to whether or not a song that is obviously influenced by another is enough to determine copyright infringement. You can read more of the legal details over at The Hollywood Reporter.
A jury trial has been scheduled for February, which means that this conflict will continue into next year.
[Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty.]