Intellectual Property Rights at Work

August 19th, 2013 § 1 comment

Marvin Gaye’s family claims that “Blurred Lines“is too similar to Marvin Gaye’s “Got to Give It Up” and is attempting to extort money from Robin Thicke. In a bold move Mr. Thicke has filed a preemptive lawsuit in the hopes that the court will rule in his favor. Take a listen for yourself:

Marvin Gaye:

Robin Thicke:

While one cannot deny that there is a similarity they are clearly different songs. Robin Thicke was almost certainly influenced by the original work but that does not give the Mr. Gaye’s heirs the right exert control over the derivative work. Whether you think this is an isolated case of fair use or you believe, as I do, that Everything is a Remix I don’t see how one can argue that Mr. Thicke owes anything but appreciation. Even if you don’t care for the song surely society is better off when artists can create new material without having to worry about being sued.

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