Well, it's finally happened. You don't have as much success as Robin Thicke has had with his song "Blurred Lines" without somebody getting sued. Especially if your song sounds eerily like another song, Marvin Gaye's 1977 hit "Got to Give It Up." So Robin Thicke is getting sued by Marvin Gaye's children. It was only a matter of time. Robin has been so on the defensive about his song sounding similar to Gaye's ever since it came out, and he even sued the Gaye family first. If anything, the Gaye estate has been remarkably restrained by waiting this long to file their countersuit. Maybe that whole twerking thing with Miley Cyrus pushed them over the edge.
There's no doubt that the two songs sound similar, but Thicke says that a leading musicologist determined that "Blurred Lines" doesn't infringe on "Got to Give It Up." But the Gaye family hits back with media excerpts of Robin himself comparing the two songs.
Music plagarism isn't easy to prove -- there's only so many musical notes to go around and sometimes they're gonna happen to fall into the same beat. But sometimes it's kind of egregious and the plagiarizer really needs to pay up. Some famous song copyright infringement cases include:
George Harrison, who stole elements of The Chiffons' "He's So Fine" for his song "My Sweet Lord." Damn, that was obvious, George. He ended up paying half a million dollars.
Rapper Vanilla Ice blatantly sampled key portions of Queen and David Bowie's "Under Pressure" for his hit song "Ice Ice Baby." The case never went to trial; the two parties reportedly settled for a hefty sum.
Michael Bolton was sued in 1991 for a song called "Love Is a Wonderful Thing," which lifted parts of an Isley Brothers song called -- well -- "Love Is a Wonderful Thing." The songs even shared some lyrics. The Isley Brothers won $5.4 million.
So, while music plagarism isn't easy to prove, it can be proved. And Thicke knows it. It will be interesting to see who wins this one.
Take a listen. Do you think Robin Thicke was a bad boy and stole this song?
"Got to Give It Up" on Soul Train:
Image via RobinThickeVEVO