As previously reported by the 1709 blog (here and here and here), the estate of Marvin Gaye has recently brought a copyright infringement suit against Robin Thicke. Gaye’s children allege that Thicke’s song, Blurred Lines, infringes Gaye’s Got to Give it Up. At the same time, Gaye’s children filed a contractual dispute against EMI April. EMI holds the copyright in both Gaye’s works and Blurred Lines. According to the plaintiffs, EMI failed to protect Gaye's catalogue and therefore breached a fiduciary duty.
While the case against Thicke continues, Sony/ATV, parent of EMI, has settled with the Gayes on the contractual issues. As a result, the company will not be required to demonstrate the impartiality of its actions. Nevertheless, if the case reaches court, Sony/ATV could still be forced by Thicke to tell a jury why it did not conclude that Blurred Lines is substantially similar to Got to Give It Up. The terms of the settlement have not been made public.