The ownership of ideas is, when dealing with
the lives of normal people, is a fairly extreme
concept. In the Law of Nature, you had only
your physical and mental skills to save you
from losing your next meal.
Now we have laws. That means no blood is
shed, but it also means that rich people get
to swan around saying "I own that"
sometimes in perpetuity. They have patents
or copyright for a song.
Anyway, it should be a right, but for the shortest
of times, because these actually stop progress
and economic activity for the rest of us. I think
the Chinese norm is like 8 years.
@techdirt is a fine twitter account for discussing
In the West, the dying engine that was once
the world-beating manufacturing economies,
is sinking into moribund front-porch territory
by holding on to copyrights for "death +70 yrs".
That's just stupid. So, the battle to make our
daily crust continues.
I think the South Koreans have done a good job
of saying "F^**(ck that Sh*t" to Western
copyright by doing their own thing
Anyway, this copying issue flares up nicely
every 2 or 3 years with a big fat copyright
scandal, like the one that Robin Thicke is
embroiled in with the estate of Marvin Gaye,
over a very popular song.
Here's the tune. 383 million Ytube views:
[I guess it was worth the risk]
This is a music video in the style of a fashion shoot.
Must be nice renting girls to sidle up to you.
BTW, Thicke is the son of a rabidly social-climbing
tv personality from Canada, who latched onto
Susanne Summers when she was part of
"Three's Company" and singing in Vegas.
Now, I hate picking sides, but Marvin is long
dead; his dad saw to that. His family doesn't
need much help anymore, but they're milking it.
But then, on the other hand, Thicke knew he
was thieving. He's now rich & famous, though, so
he doesn't much need to steal. In the end, it's the
bad name he's getting that's more important than
any money he might owe the Gayes.
Personally, I like to try to study songs to see where
the musicians stole some ideas from. This can happen
through chance, but usually, musicians are fans of music
and they begin doing performances of their favourite tunes.
U2 started that way, and they sucked so bad they had
to stop it and write their own tunes. I think that worked out.
As I think Voltaire said, if I steal from one person then
shame on me. If I steal from everybody, I can make a
good career out of it, and be hailed as a genius.
There is that fine line. I will try to show this "borrowing"
because I think it's a hat-tip to greatness, and shows
lines of progress in music, some key trends and the recycling
of genres. It's a sign of creativity, even.
Or my favourite, which is the combination of genres.
More stories on that later.
Another good sign of borrowing is that it makes DJing easier
cuz you can mix songs easier. I always wanted to do that as
a job, when I was kid. Even did some "training" for radio
Do these 2 songs have anything in common?
The first tune is new to me, even though it's from 1980.
I saw it on a Top of the Pops
rewind show, late at night, on BBC 4. Oddly, though the
musician was black, the TTOTP had 5 very white
British dancers doing a jazz-dance video to it. Odd.
The other is a song which is also fairly new to me, even
though the band isn't. It's the sickly-named Spandau
Ballet.(BTW I never thought I'd like a song of theirs)
You decide if there has been judicious borrowing or
whether they should go in front of the judge. just
Robin Thicke accused of blurring copyright lines by Marvin Gaye's family
Gaye's children take legal action against singer of Blurred Lines, alleging similarities between song and 1977 hit Got to Give It Up
Blurred line? … Robin Thicke and Marvin Gaye. Photograph: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for GQ/Everett Collection/Rex Features
Thursday 31 October 2013 12.55 GMT
Last modified on Wednesday 9 July 2014 15.03 BST
Marvin Gaye's children have responded to a Robin Thicke lawsuit, which claimed that aspects of Blurred Lines weren't stolen from the soul singer's 1977 hit Got to Give It Up, and have launched a series of additional counterclaims against the singer and EMI.
As well as alleging that Thicke committed copyright infringement on his No 1 hit, the family now claims that Thicke's "Marvin Gaye fixation" extends to more songs, according to new legal papers obtained by the Hollywood Reporter. The papers, which were filed this week, suggest that Robin Thicke used After the Dance to inspire the creation of Love After War and that the song Make U Love Me features "a similar bridge and identical lyrics [to] Marvin Gaye's I Want You".
His family has also turned its attention to EMI – which is owned by Sony/ATV Music Publishing – by proposing the penalty that EMI loses all profits on the multimillion-selling single Blurred Lines and that the family gains rights to administer the song catalogue of Gaye. "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.
According to the counterclaims, Frankie Gaye and Nona Gaye have accused EMI of breaching a contract by failing to protect Gaye's material, and also by attempting to turn public opinion against the family, trying to intimidate the family against filing for legal action and failing to remain neutral when faced with a conflict of interest.
This new case comes months after the family and Bridgeport Music Inc – which owns the rights to the music of Funkadelic/Parliament – issued an initial threat of a court battle in August. Robin Thicke and producers Pharrell Williams and TI went on to file a pre-emptive suit which asked a Los Angeles judge to declare that Blurred Lines did not infringe on Gaye's 1977 song.
As well as consulting a musicologist in order to dissect the songs' compositional similarities, the Gayes point to pre-litigation interviews given by Thicke to GQ and Billboard to support their case. "Pharrell and I were in the studio and I told him that one of my favourite songs of all time was Marvin Gaye's Got to Give It Up," Thicke told GQ. "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."