Nona Gaye

Source: Gina Ferazzi / Getty

Marvin Gaye‘s family was just awarded $7.3 million in the “Blurred Lines” lawsuit against Robin Thicke and Pharrell WilliamsWith all of the talks with who is right or wrong in the case, the Gaye family – Nona, Frankie, and Marvin Gaye III – penned a letter to give their side of the story, and share how they feel their father would have responded to the lawsuit. From Rolling Stone:

Like most artists, they could have licensed and secured the song for appropriate usage; a simple procedure usually arranged in advance of the song’s release.  This did not happen. We would have welcomed a conversation with them before the release of their work. This also did not happen.

Instead of licensing our father’s song and giving him the appropriate songwriter credit, Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams released “Blurred Lines” and then filed a pre-emptive lawsuit against us, forcing us into court.  They sought to quickly affirm that their song was “starkly different,” than “Got to Give It Up.”  The Judge denied their motion for Summary Judgement, and a jury was charged with determining the “extrinsic and intrinsic similarities” of the songs.  The jury has spoken. 

We wanted to also make clear that the jury was not permitted to listen to the actual sound recording of “Got to Give It Up.”  Our dad’s powerful vocal performance of his own song along with unique background sounds were eliminated from the trial, and the copyright infringement was based entirely on the similarity of the basic musical compositions, not on “style,” or “feel,” or “era,” or “genre.”  His song is so iconic that its basic composition stood strong. We feel this further amplifies the soundness of the verdict. 

They also clear up the matter of Pharrell’s “Happy” sounding like Gaye’s “Ain’t That Peculiar?” The family claims that is “100% false.”

Read the rest at Rolling Stone.


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