The lawsuit over “Blurred Lines,” which pitted Marvin Gaye’s family against the song’s hitmakers, was highly publicized, but according to Marvin’s ex-wife Jan Gaye, few people truly understand the real reason her family went to trial.
In a HuffPost Live conversation about her new book, After The Dance: My Life With Marvin Gaye, Jan Gaye said it was an initial lawsuit from Pharrell Williams, Robin Thicke and Clifford “T.I.” Harris Jr., that forced her family to hit back. Back in 2013, with public accusations of copyright infringement swirling, Thicke, Williams and Harris filed a suit to defend themselves from the controversy — an unexpected move that caught Gaye off-guard.
“They sued us because they wanted a judge to issue a summary judgment that said that the song was an original song and that it didn’t infringe on any other copyright or any other song,” she said. “You could have knocked me over with a feather when that came in, when I got that news that they were [pursuing] this suit.”
After hearing about the lawsuit, Gaye said her family “had to” countersue. Then when a judge rejected the motion for a summary judgment, there was finally enough evidence for the dispute to go to trial.
“With ‘Blurred Lines,’ they crossed the line. That’s the way we felt,” Gaye said.
In March 2015, the court agreed, resulting in more than $7.3 million in damages for Marvin Gaye’s family.
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