Sony Settles 'Blurred Lines' Lawsuit With Marvin Gaye's Family

The agreement spares Sony the position of defending their 30-percent market stake and the conflicts that come with it

Robin Thicke performs in Washington, DC.
Paul Morigi/WireImage
January 14, 2014 11:10 AM ET

Publishing giant Sony/ATV and Marvin Gaye's estate have reached a settlement in the ongoing lawsuit over Robin Thicke's 2013 smash "Blurred Lines," according to The Hollywood Reporter. While the terms of the settlement were not made public, as the case moves forward Sony/ATV will not have to defend giving copyrights to "Blurred Lines" and Gaye's "Got To Give It Up." The case will now specifically involve Gaye's estate and Thicke and his publishing company EMI April, which is owned by Sony/ATV.

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Thicke, as well as the songs co-writers Pharrell Williams and T.I., took pre-emptive action back in August, seeking declaratory relief that their song was "starkly different" from "Got to Give It Up." Gaye's estate then counter-sued, accusing EMI of not protecting the R&B legend's music and actively trying to stop the family from hindering "Blurred Lines"' success (the publishing company's chairman allegedly blasted the family for "ruining an incredible song" and "killing the goose that laid the golden egg").

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Along with scoring monetary compensation from "Blurred Lines," Gaye's family also sought to split with EMI, a move Sony/ATV reportedly called "ill-advised." Though the settlement means Sony/ATV will not have to defend their impartiality, it's possible that if the case makes it to trial, Thicke's camp will want the publisher to testify in court as to why it decided the two songs were dissimilar. Still, the new agreement spares Sony/ATV the uncomfortable position of defending their 30-percent stake in the music publishing market and the inherent conflicts – such as this one – that come with it.

Why Rob Sheffield Thinks "Blurred Lines" Is the Worst Song Ever

Despite the legal battles, "Blurred Lines" helped Thicke notch three Gammy nominations, including Record of the Year, Best Pop Duo/Group Performance and Best Pop Vocal Album for Blurred Lines. Thicke is also set to perform at this year's awards show – taking place January 26th – alongside jazz-rock vets Chicago.

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