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Home / Intellectual Property News / Thicke and Williams Versus Gaye’s family Music Infringement Case

Thicke and Williams Versus Gaye’s family Music Infringement Case

December 29,2018:

In 2013, Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams released the song ‘‘Blurred Lines’’ which topped the music charts in both US and UK.

The song has been their biggest hit till date. After the song became a hit, they were slammed with an infringement suit, filed by Marvin Gaye’s family. According to the suit, the song infringed “Got to Give It Up”, which was released in 1977.  Thicke and Williams filed a suit opposing the accusation of music infringement.

Gaye family accused that the song ‘‘Blurred Lines’’, illegally infringed the song ‘‘Got to Give It Up’’.  The family is the copyright owner of all of Marvin Gaye’s songs. They also claimed that the defendant intentionally copied the song to take advantage of the success of ‘‘Got to Give It Up’’.

They were trying to pawn it off as their own creation. In a countersuit, Thicke and Williams stated that the song may feel like a ’70s song, however, the song does not infringe anyone’s right.

The suit claimed that there are a lot of similarities between the songs in terms of phrases and other elements. At first, the Gaye family won the case in 2015, but the defendant appealed against this decision.

However, the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit sided with Gaye’s family in their decision. They found that there is a higher degree of similarity between the songs. Both of these songs include similar phrases, hooks, bass lines, harmonic structures, keyboard chords, and vocal melodies.

On 6th December 2018, the US District Court for the Central District of California decided in favour of Gaye’s family. They ordered Thicke and Williams to pay $5 million to Marvin Gaye’s family. In addition, the Gaye family will own 50% of all future royalties earned by “Blurred Lines”.

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