Marvin Gaye’s family have sued Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams for copyright infringement over their hit song Blurred Lines.
Three of Gaye’s children have filed legal papers accusing them of copying elements of the song Got To Give It Up.
They are seeking damages and a portion of Blurred Lines’ profits.
The action is in response to a claim brought by Thicke and Williams in August, asking a court to rule their song did not infringe Gaye’s copyright.
In their legal papers – also filed on behalf of rapper TI – the trio insisted there were no similarities between the two songs “other than commonplace musical elements”.
The Gaye family cited excerpts of magazine interviews given by Thicke to support their claim he had admitted to drawing on Got to Give it Up when producing Blurred Lines.
They also said Thicke’s 2011 song Love After War amounted to “unlawful copying” of Gaye’s 1976 track After The Dance War.
The legal claim argues EMI should have protected Gaye’s musical legacy by pursuing a copyright infringement claim, but instead allowed a conflict of interest to arise between the family’s rights and the profits it is earning from Blurred Lines’ sales.
“This conflict has resulted in EMI’s intentional decision to align themselves with the [Blurred Lines] writers, without regard to the harm inflicted upon the rights and interests of the Gaye Family, and the legacy of Marvin Gaye,” the legal papers said.
Sony/ATV Music Publishing, which owns EMI, said it took its role of protecting its songwriters’ works from infringement “very seriously”.
“While we have not yet seen the claims by the Gaye family against EMI, we have repeatedly advised the Gaye family’s attorney that the two songs in question have been evaluated by a leading musicologist who concluded that Blurred Lines does not infringe Got To Give It Up,” the company said.
Sony/ATV also said while it treasured Gaye’s works and the company’s relationship with his family, “we regret that they have been ill-advised in this matter”.