“In Dispute Over a Song, Marvin Gaye’s Family Files a Countersuit”

No kidding. We all knew this would happen, right? Indeed, I hoped it would happen after I noted that Robin Thicke had “pre-emptively” sued Marvin Gaye’s family over “Got to Give It Up.”

Difficult for me to grasp the “pre-emptive” concept when it comes to lawsuits. I’ve always thought you sue because something bad happened to you and you have legal support for the idea that the bad that happened is someone else’s fault.

So this “pre-emptive” Robin Thicke thing is, um, I dunno…innovative?

Here’s the beginning of the current New York Times piece:

Robin Thicke’s song “Blurred Lines” is one of the year’s biggest hits, but behind the scenes the song is the focus of a bitter dispute that led Wednesday to the family of Marvin Gaye filing a copyright lawsuit.

In August, Mr. Thicke and his two fellow songwriters, Pharrell Williams and Clifford Harris Jr. (also known as the rapper T.I.), sued the family of Marvin Gaye in a pre-emptive strike, saying that they expected Gaye’s children to claim that “Blurred Lines” copied Gaye’s 1977 hit “Got to Give It Up.”

The similarities between the songs — among them a smooth, retro beat and lots of falsetto — have been noted by critics and Mr. Thicke has acknowledged “Got to Give It Up” as an inspiration. But “being reminiscent of a ‘sound’ is not copyright infringement,” the men said in their suit.

And here’s the full story: In Dispute Over a Song, Marvin Gaye’s Family Files a Countersuit – NYTimes.com.

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