Copyright infringement lawsuits can be filed for a variety of reasons. One of the more common copyright infringement cases involves the music industry as many singers use other songs as inspiration for their own work. Having your song used as a muse in other artist's work can be flattering. However, there is a fine line between using someone else's work for inspiration and copying another person's melody in your own song.
Many songwriters, singers and even relatives of singers file copyright infringement lawsuits against other singers for using their work improperly in a different song. Claims of copyright infringement can lead to heated legal battles where one party claims their work is being stolen while the other party often says their work is original.
Such is the case in the recent copyright infringement lawsuit filed against R&B singer Robin Thicke and other collaborators of the popular song "Blurred Lines." The lawsuit was filed by two of Marvin Gaye's children. The lawsuit claims that the song uses the same elements in Gaye's song "Got to Give It Up." The lawsuit also claims that another one of Thicke's songs, "Love After War," copies a different song by Gaye. The plaintiffs filed the lawsuit to stop Thicke and others from using melodies and other musical elements in "Blurred Lines" and other songs.
The family also named the music company EMI in the lawsuit, saying the company did not protect their father's legacy from copyright infringement. The lawsuit claims that the company should have filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against the singers but failed to because they are owned by Sony/ATV Music Publishing, which has made a significant profit from the song "Blurred Lines." The lawsuit also alleges that EMI tried to stop the family from filing the lawsuit against the singers through intimidation.
Sony-ATV denies that allegations against EMI, and said that a musicologist looked at the similarities between "Blurred Lines" and "Got To Give It Up" and found that there is no evidence of copyright infringement.
This case is an example of the legal action people can take against individuals and companies if they believe copyright infringement has occurred.
Source: Colorado Daily, "Marvin Gaye's children sue over 'Blurred Lines,'" Anthony McCartney, Oct. 31, 2013