The legal issues surrounding the ultra popular hit song Blurred Lines began through communication from members of Marvin Gaye’s family.  The late recording artist’s loved ones questioned whether Pharrell Williams and Robin Thicke might have borrowed a little too much of Gaye’s “Got to Give It Up” in their pop smash.

In response to the contact from Gaye’s family, Williams and Thicke filed a lawsuit to have their song declared non-infringing.  This response ultimately prompted the late singer’s family to file a counter suit that not only alleges that Blurred Lines contains too much of one a Gaye’s classic hits, but that Thicke also stole portions of Gaye’s song, After the Dance, for another song on his album.  After careful deliberation following a review of the songs in question by musicologists a US District Court Judge has set a date for trial in the beginning of 2015.

Simply getting their case heard at trial is a big step for Marvin Gaye’s family.  The Fair Use Act and different interpretations of the intricacies of copyright law can make proving infringement a very difficult task.  The benefit of already having had trained musicologists suggest that the songs are similar enough to merit a trial could prove very powerful for Marvin Gaye’s family in this case.

If you feel as though someone else is benefiting from using your protected property without your permission you need to reach out to a qualified lawyer as soon as possible.  An experienced California entertainment attorney can examine the details of your claim by carefully comparing your protected property to the song, artwork or photo that the other party is using.  If there is evidence of illegal activity your attorney can issue an injunction to halt that activity and work to get you any damages you are due as a result of the infringement.

Federal and state laws prohibit copyright infringement, which can include the misappropriation, passing off, piracy, or counterfeiting of works of movies, music, art, writings, photographs, recordings, and other tangible expressions.  When a copyright holder sues a user of the work for infringement, the user may argue in defense that the use was not infringement but “fair use.” Under the fair use doctrine, it is not an infringement to use the copyrighted works of another in some circumstances, such as for commentary, criticism, news reporting, or educational use. The defense generally depends on a case-by-case judgment of the facts.

AXIS Legal Counsel offers aggressive representation to copyright, trademark, patent, and other intellectual property rights holders involved in infringement or intellectual property disputes, whether connected to the entertainment industry or technology sector. AXIS assists clients in applying for intellectual property protection as well as litigating disputes. Axis’ managing attorney Rabeh M. A. Soofi is ranked as one of the “Top Women Lawyers of Southern California” by SuperLawyers, and counsels clients in need of a Los Angeles Intellectual Property Attorney for copyright and copyright disputes. Axis handles copyright applications and legal matters and assist clients seeking a Los Angeles Copyright Lawyer or a  Los Angeles Copyright Litigation Attorney.

For information on retaining AXIS Legal Counsel for legal advice on any intellectual property dispute, contact or call (213) 403-0130 for a confidential consultation about your legal issue, or visit our Business Disputes & Litigation Practice Area, Intellectual Property Practice Area,  Business & Startups Portal, or Entertainment Legal Services Portal for additional information.