'Blurred Lines' Lawsuit: Robin Thicke's "Blurred Lines," which got Miley Cyrus twerking at the VMAs 2013 performance, was copped from two Marvin Gaye songs, according to a lawsuit by Marvin Gaye's family. Copyright claims also came against Kpop star IU this week, for new hit, "The Red Shoes." Kpop star Hyuna also raised eyebrows for similarities between the new Trouble Maker video "Now" and Rihanna's video for "We Found Love."
"Blurred Lines" is Robin Thicke's biggest hit. Marvin Gaye's children filed legal papers saying Robin Thicke stole Gaye's "After the Dance" for his song "Love After War." The family of the late Motown legend says Robin Thicke has a "Marvin Gaye fixation" and has copped more than a few licks from his idol.
Gaye's family is also suing the song publisher EMI April, which is owned by Sony/ATV. The suit says EMI breached a contract because it didn't protect Marvin Gaye's songs, tried to scare the family away from suing and didn't stay neutral in the fight. The also says EMI tried to make the Gaye family look bad in the press.
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Kpop Star IU was also recently accused of plagiarism in her new single "The Red Shoes."
IU's "The Red Shoes" is being compared to Nekta's 2009 hit "Here's Us."
Kpop singer IU's "The Red Shoes" was written by Lee Min Soo and Kim Ee Na.
Marvin Gaye's family says that should cost EMI the right to Marvin Gaye songs. EMI shouldn't profit from Marvin Gaye and they should lose all profits on "Blurred Lines." EMI should also lose the rights to administer Marvin Gaye's catalog, known as the "Prince of Soul."
Thick might have seen this coming. In August, Thicke preemptively protected "Blurred Lines" from claims against Marvin Gaye and Funkadelic's "Sexy Ways," along with his producers Pharrell Williams and Clifford Harris Jr. in California federal court. They claimed that a song that is "reminiscent of a 'sound' is not copyright infringement." In other words, they wanted to capture the feel and energy of the original recordings that made Gaye a star, but weren't actually stealing the song. They were paying the song homage.
Court papers indicate Frankie Gaye and Nona Gaye say the suit is about "blatant copying of a constellation of distinctive and significant compositional elements of Marvin Gaye's classic #1 song." They also say that Robin Thicke it in interviews with GQ and Billboard.
Thicke told GQ "Pharrell and I were in the studio and I told him that one of my favorite songs of all time was Marvin Gaye's 'Got to Give It Up.' I was like, 'Damn, we should make something like that, something with that groove.' Then he started playing a little something and we literally wrote the song in about a half hour and recorded it."
After the original suit was filed, Thicke told TMZ: he didn't think of Marvin Gaye when writing "Blurred Lines."
The Gaye family says music critics at The New York Times, Vice, Rolling Stone and Bloomberg Businessweek all saw similarities between the Gaye songs and "Blurred Lines." Musicologist Judith Finell noticed "at least eight substantially similar compositional features" with Gaye's original. According to the court papers Finell said the signature phrase, vocal hook, backup vocal hook, their variations, and the keyboard and bass lines "far surpassing the similarities that might result from attempts to evoke an 'era' of music or a shared genre."
The suit also cites Thicke for "including the similar bridge and identical lyrics from Marvin Gaye's 'I Want You' in Thicke's similarly-themed work, 'Make U Love Me.' It also makes claims only over similarities between Thicke's "Love After War" and Gaye's "After the Dance."
Marvin Gaye's family claims that not only did EMI refuse to bring counterclaims after seeing a "renowned musicologist's report," but that it gave "strong biased support to the Blurred Writers."
EMI said the Gaye family guilty of "ruining an incredible song," "killing the goose that laid the golden egg" and being responsible for "Blurred Lines" not receiving an MTV Video Music Award.
Marvin Gaye's family accused EMI and Williams and Thicke reps of "the planting of a knowingly false story in the press that the Gaye Family supposedly turned down a "six figure settlement" (no such offer was made) in order to make them appear unreasonable."
Thicke's Lawyer, Howard King, told The Hollywood Reporter,"Plaintiffs anticipated a baseless counterclaim for copyright infringement when they filed their original complaint for declaratory relief, so no surprise there. What is surprising in their press-release-disguised-as-a-complaint (much of which will eventually be stricken by the court) is their acknowledgment that the Gaye family has no standing to bring a copyright claim. For this, they blame EMI, the administrator and registered copyright owner of the Marvin Gaye songs. Obviously, EMI, which is in the business of collecting substantial sums for actual infringements, regardless of the publishing affiliations of the infringers, consulted their own expert musicologists who gave the same opinion our 3 musicologists gave: The genres of the songs are the same, the notes are different. So whether or not plaintiffs are fans of Marvin Gaye is irrelevant; no infringement occurred here."