ROBIN THICKE VS MARVIN GAYE - PLUS 5 MORE HISTORIC PLAGIARISM LAWSUITS

Robin Thicke vs Marvin Gaye - Plus 5 More Historic Plagiarism Lawsuits
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ROBIN THICKE VS MARVIN GAYE - PLUS 5 MORE HISTORIC PLAGIARISM LAWSUITS



Written by Oscar Henson
12 Wednesday 12th July 2017

It’s been two years since Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams were forced to pay out $7.3 million to the family of Marvin Gaye after a court ruled that their hit single 'Blurred Lines' had plagiarising multiple parts of Gaye's 1977 track ‘Got To Give It Up’.

Now, in two months' time, the case is set to return to court, with Thicke and Williams hoping to appeal the decision.

Listening back now, it’s easy to feel sympathy for their case. Sure, the tracks have their similarities: both follow a similar groove, centred around a similarly loping cowbell loop, each underpinned by a strutting stop-start bass line. But it could definitely be argued that these are fairly standard tropes of 70’s funk music. Is it really fair to call this a case of outright imitation, rather than accidental resemblance or honest inspiration?

 

 

Many have argued that the ‘Blurred Lines’ case sets a dangerous new precedent for copyright law - particularly as it seems that, more than anything, the writers was found guilty of ripping off the overall “feeling” of the original track, rather than directly stealing any concrete elements of it.

Given that artists are inescapably bound to sound at least a little like the artists that inspired them, is it right for the law to be so heavy handed when it comes to dishing out penalties?

We’ve dredged up 5 more historic cases of alleged plagiarism. Listen for yourself and decide where you think the line should have been be drawn.

 

George Harrison vs The Chiffons

 

Oasis vs The New Seekers

 

The Beach Boys vs Chuck Berry

 

Coldplay vs Joe Satriani

 

Bee Gees vs Ronald Selle

 

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