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Robin Thicke's settlement offer rejected by Marvin Gaye's family

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The Hollywood Reporter broke the story on August 23 stating that a source revealed that Thicke offered Marvin Gaye's family a 6 figure settlement offer which was rejected. The transaction was, most likely, conducted through attorneys. Often settling out of court is easier than going through a long legal battle with attorneys charging $300 or more per hour. Court decisions often take many years to settle.

Gaye's family isn't saying anything so far which shows convincing evidence of plagiarism. They seem to be upset that Thicke sang a song in style similar to Marvin Gaye's "Got To Give It Up" and scored a major hit. Rather than seeing a beautiful homage, Gaye's family cried foul. In an interview with TMZ, Gaye's son, Marvin Gaye III said, "We’re not happy with the way that he went about doing business, let alone suing us for something where he clearly got his inspiration from at the least."

But taking inspiration from a song does not mean copyright was infringed - even if Thicke states that it was his inspiration for the song. In an interview with GQ magazine in May about his career and the making of "Blurred Lines," Thicke said, "one of my favorite songs of all time was Marvin Gaye's 'Got to Give It Up.' I was like, 'Damn, we should make something like that, something with that groove.' Then he started playing a little something and we literally wrote the song in about a half hour and recorded it. The whole thing was done in a couple hours.

Ron Sadoff, professor of music and director of programs in scoring for film and multimedia and songwritingat New York University's Steinhardt School in the Department of Music and Performing Arts Professions weighed in to the Hollywood Reporter.

"Thicke's 'Blurred Lines' may have been inspired by Marvin Gaye's 'Got to Give It Up,' but the songs' respective 'touch and feel,' as well as their use of structural musical materials, are common to many popular songs," Sadoff said. "From a musicological perspective, the songs share even less similarities in terms of their use of structural materials such as melody and harmony. 'Blurred Lines' is composed squarely within the major mode, while 'Got to Give It Up' revolves around the blues scale. In this key area of melodic content, there doesn't appear to be evidence that would suggest plagiarism on the part of Robin Thicke."

For further analysis of the music, please see:

Is Robin Thicke's 'Blurred Lines' original, or not?

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