Alan Thicke says the "Blurred Lines" copyright case, in which his son Robin's 2013 hit was ruled to have ripped off Marvin Gaye's 1977 classic "Got to Give It Up," is "kind of a milestone litigation – and dangerous to the musical community."
The actor shared his thoughts Wednesday in an interview with Today, adding that he didn't have much advice for his son. "I just said, 'Yes, you're giving back $3 million, but you're $3 million ahead of where you were before,'" he says in the clip. "From a purely accountant's standpoint, it's OK. But emotionally and for the music industry itself, it's not a healthy precedent. They are appealing – and, of course, we hope they win."
It's only been two months since a jury ruled against Robin Thicke and writer-producer Pharrell Williams, with the duo forced to pay more than $7 million in damages to Gaye's estate. And Alan thinks that precedent has already created a ripple effect in the industry. "The Gap Band has just been added to Bruno Mars' 'Uptown Funk' because of a half-dozen writers of a song from the Seventies," he says. "Everybody is a little wary of any possibility of plagiarism."
The elder Thicke – who wrote the theme song to Eighties sitcom Diff'rent Strokes – even jokingly pointed out that "Nobody has come back and said, 'He ripped [the theme] off.'"
Attorneys for Robin Thicke and Williams have appealed the verdict, filing a motion last week in federal court that criticized the ruling as "unfounded, illogical and a miscarriage of justice," L.A. Times reports. A crucial element of their argument is that the jurors were improperly influenced by testimony of people – including Gaye's former wife, Janis – unqualified to determine similarities between the songs since they don't read music. (A judge ruled that the jury could only consider the sheet music of "Got to Give It Up" and not the actual recording, as laws during the time of the song's writing didn't allow for copyrights of recordings.)
Elsewhere in Alan Thicke's interview, the actor discussed his new reality show, Unusually Thicke. "It's not scripted, but the story is plotted," he says. "I would never have had the confidence to think that you could follow me around in my underwear with a camera and we'd be interesting enough – while I'm waiting for my tee time – to build a show around that."