(ANALYSIS) Robin Thicke Sues the Marvin Gaye Family to Protect ‘Blurred Lines’ #Musiclaw #Entertainmentlaw

In Entertainment Law by FASHIONENTLAW™

Folks, the analysis here is very straightforward because the THR, Esq. article does a good job of laying out the basic issues. So, let me focus on the procedural aspect of the case, and specifically zoom in on the complaint requesting a “declaratory” relief from the court.

The very first step in a litigator or trial attorney’s briefcase, after s/he has done the client intake, is to determine whether to sue or not to sue. Usually, a demand letter is sent out and if the problem cannot be resolved short of litigation, then the attorney heads to court to file the complaint.

Now, for the most part, we are used to a defensive game i.e. Plaintiff sues and the Defendant plays defense on the claims sued. But, what happens when someone is claiming you are doing things that you have not done, has not sued you yet; and such claim  is keeping you up at night, injuring your reputation and/or you are concerned they may sue you for the alleged wrongdoing?

What do you do? You have an option to pursue a declaratory relief from the court. This means you essentially tell the court that you want to live your life in peace and need the court to make it unequivocally clear that you have not committed the wrong doing that a potential Plaintiff has accused you of. You basically go on the offense and nip the problem in the butt before it even gets any leg to stand on and cause you grief and a whole lot of money and time.

This is what Robin Thicke has done with his “Blurred Lines” lawsuit against Marvin Gaye’s family.

Again, the facts are pretty straight to the point. So, read excerpts of the THR, Esq. article below, tell me if you agree after hearing the two versions, have a great week ahead and I will catch you all next weekend, God willing.


Marvin Gaye – Got to Give it Up

Robin Thicke – Blurred Lines

“In order to shield “Blurred Lines,” the hottest hit of the summer, Robin ThickePharrell Williams and Clifford Harris Jr. are going to court.

A lawsuit was filed Thursday in California federal court by the trio against Marvin Gaye‘s family and Bridgeport Music, which owns some of Funkadelic’s compositions. At issue are complaints about similarities between “Blurred Lines” and at least two songs.

According to the suit, a copy of which was obtained byThe Hollywood Reporter, “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.”

Read the lawsuit here.

The suit claims the Gaye family is alleging that “Blurred Lines” and Gaye’s “Got to Give It Up” “feel” or “sound” the same, and that the “Gaye defendants are claiming ownership of an entire genre, as opposed to a specific work.”

As for Funkadelic, there’s said to be claimed similarity between Thicke’s hit and Funakedlic’s “Sexy Ways.”

“But there are no similarities between plaintiffs’ composition and those the claimants allege they own, other than commonplace musical elements,” states the lawsuit. “Plaintiffs created a hit and did it without copying anyone else’s composition.” THR, Esq. has the full story.


Fashionentlaw™ is the brainchild of Uduak Oduok (Ms. Uduak), an ex-fashion model and industry veteran turned Fashion and Entertainment lawyer. The law blog discusses hot topics in pop culture arising primarily out of the fashion industry.

As a legal practitioner, Ms. Uduak has seventeen years of experience counseling individuals and businesses within and outside the creative community. She has counseled designers, apparel manufacturers, models, photographers, retailers, graphic designers, musicians, public relations specialists, and athletes, among others, on diverse legal issues including business formation, licensing, trademark and copyright matters, contracts, intellectual property and contract disputes.

To arrange a consultation to discuss your case, contact her today at 916-361-6506 or email (uduak@ebitulawgrp.com).

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