Pop & Hiss

Robin Thicke, Pharrell Williams lose first round in 'Blurred Lines' case

'Elements of "Blurred Lines" may be substantially similar to ... "Got to Give It Up,"' judge says

Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams have lost the first round in their battle with Marvin Gaye’s family in an ongoing debate over whether their 2013 megahit “Blurred Lines” infringed on Gaye’s 1977 song “Got to Give It Up.”

U.S. District Court Judge John Kronstadt denied Thicke and William’s motion for a court ruling stating that "Blurred Lines" had not borrowed substantially from Gaye’s song, instead writing that Gaye’s family members "have made a sufficient showing that elements of 'Blurred Lines' may be substantially similar to protected, original elements of 'Got to Give It Up.'"

That means the Gaye family’s lawsuit can proceed.

“There are no similarities between plaintiffs' composition and those the claimants allege they own, other than commonplace musical elements," representatives for Thicke and Williams stated in a suit filed in September. “Plaintiffs created a hit and did it without copying anyone else's composition.”

That lawsuit prompted a countersuit from Gaye’s family, which had been arguing since “Blurred Lines” became a hit that Thicke and Williams had copied parts of “Got to Give It Up.”       

Kronstadt’s ruling on Thursday noted the similarity of various hooks in both songs, bass lines, keyboard parts, vocal lines and elements of both songs’ melodic and harmonic composition.

A trial has been set for Feb. 10, 2015.

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