Back in August, it was announced that the estate of Marvin Gaye was taking legal action against Robin Thicke, Pharrell Williams, and Clifford Harris (a.k.a. T.I.) over their summer smash, “Blurred Lines”. Gaye family attorneys argued the song bore too close a resemblance to Gaye’s “Got to Give It Up” and Funkadelic’s “Sexy Ways” and thus violated several copyright laws. At the same time, the Gaye family filed a second suit against Sony/ATV subsidiary EMI April, alleging that the publishing firm hadn’t acted adequately to protect Gaye’s catalog. While Thicke and Co.’s case remains up in the air, the EMI suit was settled earlier this month for an undisclosed amount.
Now, the question begs: was the Gaye family justified in their claims of copyright infringement, or was any action they undertook just the cause of some drawn-out, superfluous legal battle? That’s what today’s Rock it Out! Blog episode tries to deduce as Sami discusses the case’s in’s and out’s with copyright lawyer John Miranda. The pair also talk about other instances of alleged copyright violation, how those cases fared in the court room, and the upside to artists owning their own copyrights. Toss on your finest lawyer’s wig and watch the proceedings below.