We also could have gone with "Robbin' Thicke."
Or even Gaye Robbin'. Like "grave robbing." That might be a stretch. (Getty)
Imitation has always been a part of the music industry, and the difference between inspiration and plagiarism often exists in a gray area. Most musicians draw the line at outright theft of intellectual property. In Robin Thicke's case, however, it would seem that line has been… smudged.
Thicke's song "Blurred Lines" was one of the biggest hits of 2013. What was the secret to its success? Was it the irresistible beat, the combined songwriting talents of Thicke, Pharrell, and T.I., or the uncomfortably high-pressure sexualized lyrics? Maybe it was the fact that it was also one of the biggest hits of 1977.
Since the release of "Blurred Lines," soul music fans have accused Thicke and co-writer Pharrell of copying Marvin Gaye's 1977 hit "Got to Give It Up," a true funk classic. The two songs do sound eerily similar to me, but you can judge for yourself.
Marvin Gaye's children have owned the copyright to his music since his tragic death in 1984. Considering the runaway success of "Blurred Lines," it's no surprise they took Thicke to court, and now the verdict is in. A Los Angeles jury found that the song were stolen, and has awarded the Gaye family $7 million in damages. That might seem steep, but it's probably a fraction of what Thicke and Pharrell made from the song.
This could have been the end of it, but now the Gayes' lawyer wants to stop all sales of the song. That seems unreasonable to me. All plagiarism and offensive lyrics aside, Thicke's song has had a significant impact on pop culture in the last two years. It's not like it'll be erased, and all the 15-year-old Robin Thicke fans in the world will suddenly start buying 40-year-old Marvin Gaye records instead. The Gaye family says they just want to stop sales of the song until a profit-sharing agreement can be reached, but that would mean less money for them too. I say, everyone should take this ruling as a chance to step back and ride that funky money train all the way home.
There's so much fuss over this one silly song, it's confusing. I don't even know… what's going on.