The Gaye estate has taken off the proverbial boxing gloves in a full-out assault to protect Gaye’s copyrights. Yes, plural.
Marvin Gaye’s family is responding in a major way to Robin Thicke’s lawsuit claiming that “Blurred Lines” wasn’t stolen from Gaye’s “Got to Give It Up.”
On Wednesday, the family went nuclear with counterclaims that allege that Thicke stole the summer mega-hit and also committed copyright infringement on Gaye’s “After the Dance” to create his song, “Love After War.” What’s more, the new legal papers obtained by The Hollywood Reporter suggest that Thicke’s “Marvin Gaye fixation” extends further to more songs in the Thicke repertoire.
The latest frontier in the digital copyright piracy fight involves a company that purports to be a reseller of “used digital music”. What is used digital music, you ask? Music that has been previously played and listened to, of course!
EMI Music‘s flagship label Capitol Records has filed a copyright infringement suit against digital music resale company ReDigi. The ReDigi tag line? “Sell songs you don’t listen to. Buy previously listened to songs at used prices.” A student in my Entertainment Law class presented this case during hot topics last week and I couldn’t resist looking into it. This case makes me laugh and applaud the ingenious use of the law to test the parameters of copyright law. In this case, it appears Redigi is remixing traditional approaches to the first sale doctrine to argue that the owner of a legitimate “copy” is entitled to lend, resell or dispose of the item and so forth. But that doctrine does not permit reproducing the material, publicly displaying or performing it, or otherwise engaging in any of the acts reserved for the copyright holder.