Singer-songwriters Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams have lost the first round in their battle with Marvin Gaye’s family over whether their 2013 hit "Blurred Lines" infringed on Gaye’s 1977 song "Got to Give It up."
U.S. District Court Judge John Kronstadt on Thursday rejected Thicke and William’s motion for summary judgment because, as he wrote in the ruling, Gaye's relatives have "made a sufficient showing that elements of "Blurred Lines" may be substantially similar to protected, original elements of 'Got to Give It Up.'"
Pharrell, Clifford Harris, Jr. and four-time Grammy nominee Thicke, who took credit in multiple interviews for co-writing "Blurred Lines," preemptively sued the Gaye in August after Gaye's family claimed "Blurred Lines" plagiarized Gaye's 1977 "Got to Give It Up." Gaye's family has counter-sued, claiming Thicke not only ripped off "Got to Give It Up" but that he also infringed on the copyright to "After the Dance" for the title track of his 2011 album "Love After War."
In a deposition released in September, Thicke said that he was too high on Vicodin and alcohol to have co-written the 2013 song of summer with Williams and had exaggerated his role in interviews. He also said his wife Paula Patton left him over his lies.
Kronstadt’s ruling on Thursday noted the similarity of various hooks in both songs, bass lines, keyboard chords, harmonic structures and vocal lines. But the judge also said that the discrepancy in Thicke's statements "do not constitute direct evidence of copying."
The trial is scheduled for Feb. 10, 2015.
— Maria Elena Fernandez