Robin Thicke: Sued Over "Blurred Lines" & More By Marvin Gaye Estate

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Robin Thicke is being sued by the estate of Marvin Gaye for stealing from not one but two of the late music icon's songs, according to court papers.

The family initially claimed that Thicke's hit "Blurred Lines" plagiarized Gaye's 1977 track "Got to Give It Up." Now they say he uses two Gaye songs.

Thicke, Pharrell Williams and Clifford Harris, Jr. (T.I.), who wrote "Blurred Lines," preemptively sued Gaye's estate after their complaints in August.

The trio claimed that "Blurred Lines" was "starkly different" from "Got to Give It Up," that Gaye does not own a genre, and that the claims were damaging.

Now Gaye's family have filed a countersuit against Thicke alleging he ripped off "Got to Give It Up" and "After the Dance" for his 2011 album Love After War.

Legal papers also suggest that they're eyeing other songs in Thicke's catalog over the singer's alleged "Marvin Gaye fixation," according to THR.

"Blurred Lines" is one of 2013's biggest hits, thanks to the undeniably infectious song as well as a video starring nude models, such as Emily Ratajkowski.

Gaye's family quote critics who have claimed to hear similarities that extend well beyond "attempts to evoke an 'era' of music or a shared genre."

The Gaye family accuses Thicke of writing a similar chorus, melody and more in his song "Love After War," with regard to Gaye's "After the Dance."

They also accuse Thicke of "including the similar bridge and identical lyrics from [Gaye's] 'I Want You' in [his] similarly-themed work, 'Make U Love Me.'"

They have not yet filed any claims over that song yet.

Interestingly, the lawsuit also goes after Gaye's music publisher, EMI April, which now operates under the company that manages Thicke, Sony/ATV.

According to THR, Gaye's family accuses the publisher of not protecting the singer's songs, attempting to scare them away from taking legal recourse.

The family's goal is for EMI, which it says has been slandering them, to lose the rights to Gaye's catalog, as well as all profits made from "Blurred Lines."

Specifically, the lawsuit singles out the chairman of EMI and its legal representative. It claims they accused the Gayes of "ruining an incredible song."

The family says EMI accused them of stifling the opportunity for "Blurred Lines" to win an MTV Video Music Award, as well as a Grammy Award.

The family also says EMI "planted" a story claiming they nixed "six-figure settlement" when no offer was made, "in order to make them appear unreasonable."

The Gaye family's lawsuit claims that Thicke admitted that he stole music from Marvin in pre-release press events, citing quotes from a GQ interview.

He said one of his favorite songs was "Got to Give It Up" and told Williams, "Damn, we should make something like that, something with that groove."

Thicke has since denied any association with the Gaye song.


There is no melodic similarity between Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” and Marvin Gaye’s “Got To Give It Up.” Has there ever been a successful music copyright infringement lawsuit in which there was NO melodic similarity, and NO copying of melody, harmony or rhythm? As an expert witness in music copyright infringement, and one who has no involvement in this particular matter, I would side with Robin Thicke. As an aside, I love Marvin Gaye’s music and don’t like Robin Thicke’s music. I think the Thicke song is extremely derivative and insignificant. Still, to have copyright infringement, one has to have copied “coyrightable expression,” and Thicke has not. I have been interviewed about this case (before it became a case) by ABC News, Fox News and the Canadian Broadcast Corporation. The CBC interview is here:\


Given that the chords and bassline sound very similar, I feel that Robin was sampling Marvin's Got to give it up. So maybe it wouldn't hurt to pay the money to the Gaye family and apologize for the blatant and obvious steal, and put this to rest once and for all.

@ Musicologist

Musicologist? Is that a joke? "Sampling" is a specific term. It means digitally recording a piece of a song (a sample) and using it in another recording. Robin Thicke did not sample any Marvin Gaye songs. Furthermore, he did not copy any of Gaye's songs in any legal sense. Look it up. Use Google. Get informed. This is a money grab by greedy people. It will fail in court, and they may end up losing money as a result.

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