(AllHipHop News) Robin Thicke, Pharrell Williams, and Clifford “T.I.” Harris have filed a lawsuit against the family of the late soul singer Marvin Gaye and Bridgeport Music over their huge hit “Blurred Lines” according to The Hollywood Reporter. The suit is a preemptive strike against Gaye’s family and the owner some of the music of the band Funkadelic.
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The Gaye family and Bridgeport were said to be considering suing Thicke, Williams, and T.I., because of what they see as similarities between “Blurred Lines'” and Gaye’s “Got to Give It Up” and Funkadelic’s “Sexy Ways.”
The suit states:
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… But there are no similarities between plaintiffs’ composition and those the claimants allege they own, other than commonplace musical elements. Plaintiffs created a hit and did it without copying anyone else’s composition.
The lawsuit also accuses the Gaye family of “claiming ownership of an entire genre, as opposed to a specific work” and the intent of “Blurred Lines” was to “evoke an era” not to infringe on the copyright of any other work. Frankie Christian Gaye, Marvin Gaye III, and Nona Marvisa Gaye were all named as defendants in the case.
Bridgeport Music was named as company. Bridgeport has been involved in several high-profile copyright cases. One of the most significant being 2005’s Bridgeport Music, Inc. v. Dimension Films which helped set the precedent that sampling any part of someone’s work no matter the length of the sample is copyright infringement.
The case stemmed from N.W.A. sampling a two second guitar riff from Funkadelic’s “Get Off Your Ass and Jam” for the song “100 Miles and Runnin’.” A 2006 article on slate.com called Bridgeport Music a “sample troll.”
The current “Blurred Lines” case does not involve sampling concerns. The case was filed in U.S. District Court in California.