LOS ANGELES -- LOS ANGELES (AP) — Two of Marvin Gaye's children sued Robin Thicke and his collaborators on the hit song "Blurred Lines" on Wednesday, accusing them of copyright infringement and alleging music company EMI failed to protect their father's legacy.

Nona Marvisa Gaye and Frankie Christian Gaye's suit is the latest salvo in a dispute over Thicke's hit and whether it copies elements of Gaye's song "Got to Give It Up."

Their lawsuit seeks to block Thicke and collaborators Pharrell and T.I. from using elements of their father's music in "Blurred Lines" or other songs.

Thicke has denied copying Gaye's song for "Blurred Lines," which has the longest streak this year atop the Billboard Hot 100 chart and has sold more than 6 million tracks so far.

Much of the lawsuit focuses on claims that EMI should have pursued a copyright infringement claim. It accuses the company's executives of using intimidation to try to stop the Gaye family from pursuing a lawsuit.

The suit claims EMI, which is owned by Sony Music Entertainment, has allowed a conflict of interest between the family's rights and the profits it is earning from "Blurred Lines" sales.

"This conflict has resulted in EMI's intentional decision to align themselves with the ('Blurred Lines') writers, without regard to the harm inflicted upon the rights and interests of the Gaye Family, and the legacy of Marvin Gaye," the lawsuit states.

A phone message seeking comment from Sony Music was not immediately returned.

Thicke and his collaborators filed a case in August asking a federal judge to rule that the singers did not copy "Got to Give It Up" for their hit.

Howard King, who represents the singers, said the Gayes' countersuit was not unexpected, but he said their decision to sue EMI demonstrates the family lacks the appropriate authority to pursue the case against his clients.

He rejected the notion that EMI turned a blind eye to improper copying of Gaye's music. "EMI is in the business of collecting money for infringements," King said.

The company likely consulted a musicologist who found nothing improper, the attorney said. King said his firm consulted three music experts who determined the notes in the two songs were different.

Gaye's son Marvin Gaye III also might pursue legal action over the song, but he is not included in the federal court suit filed Wednesday.


Anthony McCartney can be reached at http://twitter.com/mccartneyAP

Loading Slideshow...
  • Katy Perry - "Roar"

    After the release of "Roar," the lead single off of Katy Perry's 2013 album "Prism," listeners noticed <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/08/12/katy-perry-roar-sara-bareilles-brave_n_3743343.html?utm_hp_ref=entertainment" target="_blank">major similarities between the track and the Sara Bareilles song "Brave."</a> Bareilles commented on the comparisons by simply tweeting "All love, everybody. All love."

  • will.i.am. and Britney Spears - "Scream and Shout"

    Will.i.am isn't experiencing his first copyright-related lawsuit, as 24-year-old singer Tulisa sued the Black Eyed Peas frontman for allegedly stealing some of her lyrics in the Britney Spears collaboration <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kYtGl1dX5qI" target="_blank">"Scream and Shout."</a> Will had admitted to using her song, recorded as "I Don't Give A F--k," having received it from the original producer, who reportedly didn't want it on Tulisa's album. But that hasn't stopped Tulisa from <a href="http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-2276982/Tulisa-suing-Scream-amp-Shout-song.html" target="_blank">seeking royalties from the song's profits</a>.

  • Alicia Keys - "Girl On Fire"

    Songwriter Earl Shuman accused Alicia Keys of repurposing his 1962 track <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=alLgxBUcMbc" target="_blank">"Hey There Lonely Girl,"</a> a hit for Eddie Holman, on her 2012 single <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J91ti_MpdHA" target="_blank">"Girl On Fire."</a> She is currently facing a legal battle <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/18/alicia-keys-lawsuit-copyright-infringement-girl-on-fire_n_2322080.html" target="_blank">after being sued for copyright infringement</a>.

  • Shakira - "Hips Don't Lie"

    Popular Puerto Rican salsa singer Jerry Rivera claimed Shakira's <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DUT5rEU6pqM" target="_blank">"Hips Don't Lie"</a> stole the horn progression from his song <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M85l1qW8x18" target="_blank">"Amores Como el Nuestro,"</a> prompting the singer not to show up at Spain's equivalent of the Grammys. Shortly thereafter, Shakira was accused of stealing part of the refrain from the popular Luis Dias song "Carnaval (Baila en la Calle)." Neither of these artists pressed charges. <em>An earlier version of this slide incorrectly identified Rivera as Spanish, rather than Puerto Rican.</em>

  • 50 Cent - "I Get Money"

    Atlanta rapper Tyronne Simmons, better known as Caliber, sued 50 Cent, a producer and several music executives for copyright infringement for allegedly stealing the instrumental track for the 2007 song <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GO22Z0T3qPE" target="_blank">"I Get Money."</a> Caliber claimed he had purchased exclusive rights to the material and proceeded to bring a suit against 50 Cent. It was eventually dropped, as the three-year statute of limitations for copyright infringement eventually passed.

  • Avril Lavigne - "Girlfriend"

    The songwriters for The Rubinoos <a href="http://www.billboard.com/articles/news/1051129/seventies-band-sues-lavigne-over-girlfriend" target="_blank">sued Avril Lavigne</a> and her record label in May 2007, claiming her song <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bg59q4puhmg" target="_blank">"Girlfriend"</a> infringed on their 1979 hit <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j3t66Nrqteo" target="_blank">"I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend."</a> The lawsuit was settled in early 2008, with Lavigne's music reps saying the songs' similarities were purely coincidental.

  • The Beatles - "Come Together"

    Big Seven Music Corp. sued The Beatles in 1973, accusing the band of ripping the beat and lyrics of <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=axb2sHpGwHQ" target="_blank">"Come Together"</a> from <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hrDoy4LDDCg" target="_blank">Chuck Berry's "You Can't Catch Me."</a> The parties settled out of court, but John Lennon vowed to record three additional Big Seven songs as retribution. He did so, and Big Music retaliated by issuing unreleased tapes of Lennon's music. Lennon countersued and was awarded almost $85,000.

  • Coldplay - "Vida La Vida"

    The men of Coldplay came under fire for the band's 2008 hit, "Vida La Vida." <a href="http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/joe-satriani-sues-coldplay-for-viva-la-vida-plagiarism-20081205" target="_blank">Guitarist Joe Satriani accused the band of plagiarizing his 2004 song "If I Could Fly."</a> Satriani went so far as to sue the band.

  • The Beach Boys - "Surfin' U.S.A."

    Chuck Berry strikes again. The R&B singer accused the Beach Boys classic "Surfin' U.S.A." of being a note-for-note rip of his "Sweet Little Sixteen." After a lawsuit, Berry received a writing credit and royalties from the song.

  • Radiohead - "Creep"

    Radiohead's smash single "Creep" was accused of plagiarizing The Hollies' 1973 song "The Air That I Breathe." The Hollies won their lawsuit, which said that "Creep" stole a chord progression and melody from their song. As a result, Albert Hammond and Mike Hazlewood are now listed as co-songwriters on the Radiohead song.

  • Madonna - "Justify My Love"

    Public Enemy accused Madonna's controversial 1990 song <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Np_Y740aReI" target="_blank">"Justify My Love"</a> of sampling the instrumentals from <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jJmoTjY04-o" target="_blank">"Security of the First World."</a> Madonna claimed she'd never heard the song, and Public Enemy never brought a lawsuit anyway, with many speculating it was because they'd sampled music as well. Madonna's "Justify" troubles didn't end there, as poet Ingrid Chavez later sued Lenny Kravitz, the song's producer and co-writer, for stealing the lyrics from one of her poems. The lawsuit was settled out of court, and Chavez received a belated writing credit on the track.

  • Led Zeppelin - "Whole Lotta Love"

    Led Zeppelin has fought several copyright lawsuits unsuccessfully, one of which came in conjunction with 1969's "Whole Lotta Love." In 1985, Willie Dixon claimed the song was fashioned out of his 1962 track "You Need Love." The suit was settled out of court, and "Whole Lotta Love" now features a songwriting credit for Dixon.