Last year, Marvin Gaye’s kids sued Robin Thicke over his Grammy nominated hit single “Blurred Lines,” claiming it was a copy of Marvin Gaye’s “Got to Give It Up." Gaye’s children filed suit not only against Robin and all producers involved on the record, but against EMI April and Sony/ATV for allegedly breaching its obligation to protect the Gaye catalog. According to their suit, EMI administered rights on “Blurred Lines” and didn’t want the Gaye Estate getting in the way. The chairman of EMI is even said to have contacted Gaye's legal representative with warnings about making a frivolous claim.
The initial response of Sony/ATV was that the family’s move to rescind its relationship with them was “ill-advised.' However, it looks like Sony has backtracked from the stance. According to The Hollywood Reporter, a settlement agreement between Marvin Gaye’s family and the music publisher has been reached, but the terms have not been made public. The agreement also means that Sony/ATV will not have to defend itself against charges of being partial to Thicke and party in administering copyrights on both his and Gaye’s song. It will also release the company from having to address what was said to have been a conflict of interest that is inherent in owning 30 percent of the music publishing market. Though Sony/ATV is absolved from having to defend itself, Robin Thicke is not. Sony concluded the two songs were not substantially similar in administering copyrights. And as the two camps continue moving toward a trial date. Robin Thicke’s will likely want a judge or jury to hear their argument as to why Sony/ATV initially ruled in their favor.