“If he were alive today, he would embrace the technology available to artists,” says family. “But we also know he would be vigilant about safeguarding the artist’s rights”
Marvin Gaye‘s children have penned an open letter in the hope of “set[ting] the record straight on a few misconceptions” in the media’s coverage of their successful lawsuit against the writers of Robin Thicke‘s 2013 hit “Blurred Lines.”
Nona Gaye, Frankie Gaye and Marvin Gaye III’s joint letter mainly dives into the background and legacy of Marvin Gaye’s “Got to Give It Up,” the 1977 single the court found to have been copied by Thicke and co-writer Pharrell Williams.
In the letter, the siblings imagine how their father would have handled the situation. “If he were alive today, we feel he would embrace the technology available to artists and the diverse music choices and spaces accessible to fans who can stream a song at a moment’s notice,” the siblings wrote. “But we also know he would be vigilant about safeguarding the artist’s rights. He also gave credit where credit is due.”
Even though the outcome of the lawsuit favored the Gaye family, the children claim that all of this could have been avoided if Thicke and Williams had approached the family before releasing the single, especially since the similarities were deemed to be not coincidental. “Like most artists, they could have licensed and secured the song for appropriate usage,” the family stated. “This did not happen. We would have welcomed a conversation with them before the release of their work. This also did not happen.”
Thicke and Pharrell Williams lost the copyright suit on March 10th. Following the court’s decision, the lawyer representing Marvin Gaye’s family has sought to halt all sales of “Blurred Lines.” Since the proceedings, the family had noted some similarities between Gaye’s “Ain’t That Peculiar” and Williams’ “Happy,” though the family has confirmed in the open letter that they “have absolutely no claim whatsoever concerning ‘Happy.'”