Marvin Gaye’s Family Settle With Sony/ATV Over “Blurred Lines” Lawsuit

Robin Thicke still on the hook

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Rick Diamond / Getty Images for Clear Channel

Robin Thicke performs onstage during 93.3 FLZ’s Jingle Ball 2013 at the Tampa Bay Times Forum on Dec. 18, 2013 in Tampa, Fla.

Marvin Gaye’s family has settled a portion of their lawsuit over the similarities between Robin Thicke’s hit song “Blurred Lines” and Gaye’s “Got to Give It Up.”

While the main legal battle between Gaye’s family and Thicke continues, the Gayes have reached a settlement with Sony/ATV—one of the world’s biggest music publishing companies, co-founded by Michael Jackson and Sony—Billboard reports. It’s the latest twist in the complicated legal maneuvering over who’ll rake in the royalties.

Back in August, Thicke, Pharrell and T.I. filed a preemptive lawsuit over their mega-hit after Marvin Gaye’s estate and Bridgeport music—which owns the rights to a number of Funkadelic compositions—reportedly threatened action against Thicke and his co-creators because “Blurred Lines” is too similar to Gaye’s “Got to Give It Up” and Funkadelic’s “Sexy Ways.” Thicke’s camp asked the court to rule that his mega-hit was an original work.

In response, Gaye’s children countersued Thicke and his producers, as well as EMI April, a smaller music publishing company owned by Sony/ATV, saying EMI April failed to protect the Gaye catalogue. EMI April manages both the Thicke and Gaye copyrights, and the Gaye family argued that the company didn’t want to get in the way as “Blurred Lines” became a huge hit.

Now,  Gaye’s family and the music publisher have reached a settlement, the terms of which haven’t been made public. This new development means that Sony/ATV will not be required to defend its impartiality in the case between Thicke and Gaye’s family. However, as Billboard notes, this new development does not necessarily end Sony/ATV’s involvement. There’s a good chance that Thicke’s lawyers will want a jury to hear why Sony decided that the two songs were not substantially similar and didn’t require action. Listen for yourself below.

Here’s Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines”:

Here’s Marvin Gaye’s “Got To Give It Up”:

MORE: Q&A: Robin Thicke on Blurred Lines, the Video Music Awards and Working With Dad Alan Thicke

MORE: 11 Suspiciously Sound-Alike Songs

9 comments
BobCoover
BobCoover

The two songs have different chords, different melody, and different lyrics. They are produced with similar percussion, falsetto singing, and ad libs, but if you sing Got To Give It Up and then Blurred Lines, they are definitely different. I love Marvin Gaye's tune, and I dig Blurred Lines too. But, from the underlying chords, sung melody, and lyrics, they are two different songs.

FlavioHilario
FlavioHilario

Im not musician, and not so hard listener ...  For me, they are similar. Just similar.  If be "similar" is wrong, then It deserves some action.  And for the "musicians" (producers, editors, sound engineers, whatever...) it would be even more clear that is not just "coincidence" or "innocent similarity".  They listen a lot of songs, and can get under a lot of influence. Sometimes is good, sometimes is bad.

Misanoni
Misanoni

It is the very same song -- from the percussion, to the ad libs, to the falsetto, to the shout-outs in the background.  They have made slight timing modifications and added some rap lyrics to claim originality.  Shame on you Thicke, Williams, T.I., and Sony!

DeniseLewisDavis
DeniseLewisDavis

@ Support1, If i have to listen HARD to hear a difference in the song, leads me to believe it's Marvin Gaye's song and Robin Thick added a slight difference in a beat and calls it original,  that's makes me Lol.  He stole Marvin Gaye's song.

Support1
Support1

These songs are not similar. If I listen HARD I can hear a slight beat similarity but thats it. I don't hear Thickes song and instantly think of Marvins. His family must be broke and reaching for cash.

DanCarroll
DanCarroll

OldGreg, look up million dollar baby vs trouble man. that was the one that did it for me. he's straight ripping him off.

And for time not to mention the other songs is just poor investigation.

ImOldGreg
ImOldGreg

I listened to both songs.  Both songs are great fun.  Amazing how Gaye's song is still fantastic after SO MANY years.  However, I DO NOT hear how these songs are alike or even close to have a lawsuit out.  Sounds like the Gaye family is money hungry trying to stir up an issue that does not exist.  Let it go and ENJOY both songs!

DeniseLewisDavis
DeniseLewisDavis

@ImOldGreg Marvin Gaye is not here to get back what's being stolen  from him. His family would be stupid to sit back and let the world steal his music and not fight for his hard work. Marvin Gaye has children, and grand children and it's only right for them to get paid. Yes, the song is Marvin's song.