Robin Thicke, Pharrell Williams and Clifford “T.I.” Harris have filed a lawsuit in California federal court against the family of late soul legend Marvin Gaye and Bridgeport music, owner of several of Funkadelic‘s compositions, in order to protect the hit single “Blurred Lines” from a possible legal backlash.
The Hollywood Reporter obtained a copy of the suit. “Plaintiffs, who have the utmost respect for and admiration of Marvin Gaye, Funkadelic and their musical legacies, reluctantly file this action in the face of multiple adverse claims from alleged successors in interest to those artists. Defendants continue to insist that plaintiffs’ massively successful composition, ‘Blurred Lines,’ copies ‘their’ compositions,” it reads.
The Gaye family has alleged that “Blurred Lines” and Gaye’s “Got to Give It Up” are similar, while the plaintiffs say that the “Gaye defendants are claiming ownership of an entire genre, as opposed to a specific work.”
There have also been musical similarities pointed out between “Blurred Lines” and Funkadelic’s “Sexy Ways.”
“But there are no similarities between plaintiffs’ composition and those the claimants allege they own, other than commonplace musical elements,” states the lawsuit. “Plaintiffs created a hit and did it without copying anyone else’s composition.”
The Gayes and Bridgeport are reportedly threatening to sue if a monetary settlement cannot be reached. Therefore, the plaintiffs are going to court to determine the parties’ respective rights and obligations before any other suit can be filed against them.