Robin Thicke's "Blurred Lines," one of the summer's biggest hits, is now under scrutiny for its resemblance to songs by Marvin Gaye and Funkadelic.
Marvin Gaye's family and Bridgeport Music, owners of the rights to Funkadelic's music, have both threatened to sue Thicke for the alleged similarity of "Blurred Lines" to Gaye's "Got to Give it Up" and Funkadelic's "Sexy Ways," both released in the mid-'70s. But contrary to the usual procedure for copyright infringement suits, Thicke, Pharrell and T.I. are suing preemptively in order to protect the rights to their song.
According to Spin, the lawsuit asks a judge to declare that "Blurred Lines" doesn't "improperly copy" the Gaye or Funkadelic tracks. A ruling in favor of Thicke would protect "Blurred Lines" from any future legal action by Bridgeport Music or the Gaye family. The lawsuit even goes further, accusing Bridgeport Music of being "in the business of trolling for opportunities to threaten to sue and to sue musicians, performers, producers and others in the music industry for infringement of its copyrights." Read the full lawsuit here.
Though Thicke admitted that "Got to Give it Up" inspired "Blurred Lines" in a GQ interview this May, Marvin Gaye is not listed as a songwriter in the track's credits, as is his family's current wish.
The influence that "Sexy Ways" had on "Blurred Lines" is less obvious. Even Funkadelic frontman George Clinton questioned Bridgeport Music's Armen Boladian on his decision to pursue legal action against Thicke, tweeting:
— George Clinton (@george_clinton) August 16, 2013
This isn't the first time that "Blurred Lines" has been attacked for its content. Following a slew of articles that attacked the song for being "rapey," the unrated music video of "Blurred Lines" (which features gratuitous female nudity) was removed from YouTube. Thanks to Vevo, which doesn't have to adhere to YouTube's non-nudity standards, the video is now back online.
Only time will tell what effect this copyright controversy will have on the legacy of "Blurred Lines," but Pablo Picasso's famous saying, "good artists copy; great artists steal," rings ever truer in the face of the song's success. For the record, we at Zumic believe that truly great artists, like Marvin Gaye, don't have to beg, borrow, copy or steal to achieve greatness.
Stay tuned for more news on the legal woes of "Blurred Lines," and compare all three songs below.
Via: Hollywood Reporter