LOS ANGELES (AP) — Two of Marvin Gaye‘s children sued Robin Thicke and his collaborators on the hit song “Blurred Lines” on Wednesday, accusing them of copyright infringement and alleging music company EMI failed to protect their father’s legacy.

Nona Marvisa Gaye and Frankie Christian Gaye‘s suit is the latest salvo in a dispute over Thicke’s hit and whether it copies elements of Gaye’s song “Got to Give It Up.”

Their lawsuit seeks to block Thicke and collaborators Pharrell and T.I. from using elements of their father’s music in “Blurred Lines” or other songs.

Thicke has denied copying Gaye’s song for “Blurred Lines,” which has the longest streak this year atop the Billboard Hot 100 chart and has sold more than 6 million tracks so far.

Much of the lawsuit focuses on claims that EMI should have pursued a copyright infringement claim. It accuses the company’s executives of using intimidation to try to stop the Gaye family from pursuing a lawsuit.

The suit claims EMI, which is owned by Sony Music Entertainment, has allowed a conflict of interest between the family’s rights and the profits it is earning from “Blurred Lines” sales.

“This conflict has resulted in EMI’s intentional decision to align themselves with the (‘Blurred Lines’) writers, without regard to the harm inflicted upon the rights and interests of the Gaye Family, and the legacy of Marvin Gaye,” the lawsuit states.

A phone message seeking comment from Sony Music was not immediately returned.

Thicke and his collaborators filed a case in August asking a federal judge to rule that the singers did not copy “Got to Give It Up” for their hit.

Howard King, who represents the singers, said the Gayes’ countersuit was not unexpected, but he said their decision to sue EMI demonstrates the family lacks the appropriate authority to pursue the case against his clients.

He rejected the notion that EMI turned a blind eye to improper copying of Gaye’s music. “EMI is in the business of collecting money for infringements,” King said.

The company likely consulted a musicologist who found nothing improper, the attorney said. King said his firm consulted three music experts who determined the notes in the two songs were different.

Gaye’s son Marvin Gaye III also might pursue legal action over the song, but he is not included in the federal court suit filed Wednesday.

(Photo: AP)

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11 thoughts on “Marvin Gaye’s Children Sue Over ‘Blurred Lines’

  1. Idiots if you heard those lines in another song I’m sure the original artist is getting a check. They tried to steal from a legend and got caught with their hands in the cookie jar.

  2. There are soooooooooo many “new’ songs that sound like the songs I listen to, I’m not understanding this suit…I’m not in the business, but there are soooo many songs that sound like old school…why the suit???

    • That all mighty dollar, that’s why!! Hey, I guess they’ve gotta try to protect their father’s rights if there is something unjust and being done without their permission. Ultimately though, we know its about that paper. If the song didn’t make any money and wasn’t connect to such a large entertainment group would it be worth their time and efforts?? Would the family invest in an attorney to ‘protect rights’ if there would be no financial gain. Ehhh…it’d be interesting to see! Doubt it.

  3. Hey Tom: I wish you would reach way way back, and play songs from the 60s on your morning show. It would b so refreshing. Perhaps you could do it for a week.

  4. All I know is that Marvin died much too soon!! I so miss all the love songs, and lyrics from that era from so many ARTISTS. I know that today rap is mostly king; but I find it so sad that young people of today for the most part haven’t experienced real music/songs. I’m talking Temptations, Whispers, Four Tops, Aretha, Mary Wells, Patti LaBelle, Isaac Hayes, Luther, Curtis Mayfield….just to name a few

    • the Timekeeper on said:

      I am with you 100% on that Joy! In fact, every time my kids ask me to listen to a new song by one of their favorite artists, i wind up bursting their bubble by playing the “REAL” record. That is the main reaosn I keep my old albums around so I can show them the real deal. nice thing is, when my kids do hear it, they really dig it. You should see their eyes get big when they hear real INSTRUMENTS!

  5. I wish this had been worked out before the song was released. It’s great dance music and honestly most people of a certain age knew it was the “Got to Give it Up” intro and background track. Giving credit where credit seems to be due wouldn’t have hurt sales of this song one bit and everyone could have gotten paid…

  6. C’mon ladies and gentleman. This is “Got to Give” Marvin Gaye all the way. I don’t give a dag what musiclogist they used if Thicke didn’t sing on this track and let the instruments play everyone and their mamma would be thinking oh “Gotta Give it up” is gettirng ready to come on. They should of at least inform the family and I’m sure the family would of been flattered and this would of went down smoothly.

  7. Daniel Asamota on said:

    Okay the bass line is similar to Marvin Gaye’s ‘gotta give it up’ but it’s also similar to ‘Shackles On My Feet’ an old 80’s dance song. In fact it’s got more in common with ‘Shackles’ than Marvin’s song. It also sound a little like Funky Town, and War’s ‘Why Can’t We Be Friends’. The Gaye’s I don’t blame them for trying to protect their rights, but I think they’re barking up the wrong tree. This song has got too many elements of other songs to say specifically that it’s a rip-off of Marvin’s song.

    • stephanie on said:

      Daniel, I heard the same thing in the songs that you mentioned. As a matter of fact, I was at a club a couple of weeks ago, and a song started playing and I started singing “Blurred Lines”, and it was something else. That bass line is used in quite a few songs. Stevie Wonder advised the Gaye Family to not waste their money. I guess they didn’t want to listen to their elder!

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