Robin Thicke and his partners in crime head to court to protect their #1 hit, “Blurred Lines.” Pharell Williams, Clifford ‘T.I.” Harris, Jr. and Thicke say they have received threatening messages from the late Marvin Gaye’s family along with Bridgeport Music. In these messages they have accused the three singers of stealing Gaye’s sound and feel as it relates to the late singer’s song entitled, ”Got to Give It Up.”
Blurred Lines has been the song of the summer and is still burning up the charts. Thicke wants to make sure it doesn’t end up burning his pockets as well. All three of the singers on the song have made it very plain that they have the utmost admiration and respect of these musical legends. They feel that it’s unfortunate they have to take this route but also feel they have no choice.
Thicke and his music partners filed the lawsuit in California federal court on Thursday. The lawsuit wasn’t filed as an attack against the Gaye Family or Bridgeport Music; instead it was more to protect their position as it relates to the current hit. They have been accused of stealing from those they admire because of the similarities of ‘Blurred Lines’ to Gaye’s late 70s hit. The defendants insist that the plaintiffs’ composition of their successful summer jam, ‘Blurred Lines,’ is a replica of Gaye’s compositions.
Bridgeport Music, who owns some of Funkadelic’s hits, is claiming that the same song has too many similarities to their song, “Sexy Ways.” The spokesperson for the Gaye family has claimed ownership to an entire genre, not just a song. Either way, the plaintiffs have stated that it’s simply a commonplace in musical elements.
Many have long noted the similarities of sound with the songs in question; however most have stated that a similar sound doesn’t prove copyright infringement. Many singers are heavily influenced by the sound of generations prior and as a result incorporate the “flavor” of that generation. This used to be considered paying homage to or honoring their memory.
Obviously the Gaye family and Bridgeport Music don’t agree. They have stated that if the plaintiffs don’t pay a settlement they will take legal action against them. Instead of wasting time waiting for the defendants to move further with their threats Thicke, Williams and Harris Jr. are heading it off by filing their own claim. They are looking for the court to clarify each of their rights and obligations as it relates to ‘Blurred Lines’.
In seeking a ruling, Thicke, Williams and Harris Jr. are hoping for a ruling that clears the ‘blurred lines’ of the copyright issues at hand. Meanwhile, they have secured the support of George Clinton, who used to be the leader of “The Funkadelics” band. Clinton has also said that he has feuded with Bridgeport music for years.
Thicke recently scored both, the No. 1 album on the Billboard 200 and No. 1 song and Billboard Hot 100 charts, with this hit, “Blurred Lines.” Sometimes it is the best of times and the worst of times, but hopefully he pauses to celebrate this accomplishment. Since December 2012 he is the first artist hold the top spot on both charts.
Like it or not “Blurred Lines” is the summer’s biggest hit and has continued to dominate the charts; however the beat derived, it has proven to be quite catchy. Blurred Lines is the type of song that people find themselves jamming to whenever they hear it; long after it has stopped playing on the radio the hook remains in their head on its own replay cycle.
All we know for now is Thicke, Pharrell and Harris, Jr. have started the ball rolling and are working hard to protect their rights and their investment for their #1 hit, “Blurred Lines.”
By: Cherese Jackson (Virginia)