Aug. 17--Robin Thicke and his fellow songwriters are seeking to protect "Blurred
Lines" from legal action by a pair of Detroit-related entities.
Thicke, Pharrell Williams and rapper T.I. filed suit Thursday in Los Angeles federal court in a move against Southfield song publisher Bridgeport Music and the estate of Motown's Marvin Gaye.
According to the complaint, both Bridgeport and Gaye's family have alleged that "Blurred Lines" copies songs they claim to control -- Funkadelic's 1974 album cut "Sexy Ways" and Gaye's 1977 chart-topper "Got to Give it Up," respectively.
Thursday's suit, originally reported by the Hollywood Reporter, was a preemptive legal move by Thicke and the team behind "Blurred Lines," which has dominated the summer airwaves while spending 10 weeks atop the Billboard Hot 100.
Contending that "the songs themselves are starkly different," Thicke and company are asking the court to sort out the matter now, in the face of litigation threats by Bridgeport and the Gaye estate.
"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," the suit reads.
Named in the suit are Gaye's three children, all California residents: Frankie Christian Gaye, Marvin Gaye III and Nona Gaye. The suit also questions their actual ownership interest in "Got to Give it Up."
Southfield's Bridgeport Music owns copyrights to many of George Clinton's Parliament-Funkadelic works and has been involved in a series of related lawsuits through the years. The suit accuses Bridgeport of "trolling for opportunities to threaten to sue and to sue musicians, performers, producers and others in the music industry for infringement of its copyrights."
The Free Press has contacted a Bridgeport attorney for comment.
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