Hastings Communications and Entertainment Law Journal


Toni Lester


Were Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams perpetuating perceptions of misappropriation when they filed their declaratory judgment claim against the estate of Marvin Gaye? Or were they legitimately contributing to the evolving genre of R&B and soul music originated by black greats like Gaye and others? This article will answer these questions by first exploring the extent to which the song "Blurred Lines" constitutes illegal copyright infringement of "Gotta Give It Up" under the U.S. Copyright Act and traditional judicial interpretations thereof. It will then make some predictions about the outcome of the declaratory judgment claim currently under consideration in California.