There’s a bit of a quirky new twist in Robin Thicke‘s lawsuit claiming that “Blurred Lines” wasn’t stolen from Marvin Gaye‘s “Got to Give It Up.”
Marvin Gaye III, the adopted eldest of the singer’s children, has hired his own attorney and has filed his own counterclaim in the lawsuit. He follows Frankie Christian Gaye and Nona Gaye, who filed a countersuit in October claiming that Thicke and his producers Pharrell Williams and Clifford Harris Jr. committed copyright infringement on two songs. At the time, the non-participation of Gaye III was noted by several media outlets. Gaye III is now standing up on his own.
According to his counterclaim, “Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” (copied from Gaye’s “Got To Give It Up”), Thicke’s “Love After War” (copied from Gaye’s “After The Dance”), Thicke’s “Make U Love Me” (copied from Gaye’s “I Want You”), and Thicke’s “Million Dolla Baby” (copied from Gaye’s “Trouble Man”) all serve as examples of songs so similar to Gaye’s songs as to leave no doubt but that they were each wholly dependent for their very creations upon Thicke’s brazen copying.”
While Gaye III alleges copying on four songs, like his siblings, he’s only bringing copyright claims on “Blurred Lines” and “Love After War.” Unlike the other countersuit, there’s no allegation made that EMI April, the song publisher now owned by Sony/ATV, breached a contract and its fiduciary duty by failing to protect Gaye’s songs.
If there’s squabbling in the Gaye family, it could add a wrinkle to any settlement discussions. And should the lawsuit prove successful, it could necessitate some sorting in the disbursement of damages. In the short-term, though, with Thicke’s lawyer signaling to The Hollywood Reporter a challenge to the Gaye family’s standing in bringing a copyright claim, any family strife over rights might come up.
Meanwhile, further court documents reveal that Michael Niborski at Pryor Cashman is now representing Sony/ATV. An established entertainment litigator, he joins Howard King representing Thicke, Richard Busch representing Frankie Christian Gaye and Nona Gaye and Paul Philips representing Marvin Gaye III.