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

Robin Thicke still on the hook

  • Share
  • Read Later
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