A copyright infringement lawsuit over the hit song “Blurred Lines,” filed by the estate of late musician Marvin Gaye against artists Pharrell Williams and Robin Thicke, can proceed, a U.S. District Court judge ruled on Thursday.
According to the Los Angeles Times, the ruling represents a first-round loss for Williams and Thicke, who filed a preemptive lawsuit last year against Gaye’s estate after being accused of stealing parts of their 2013 hit song from Gaye’s “Got to Give it Up,” recorded in 1977. Gaye’s estate countersued, arguing that Thicke’s song copied substantially from the late soul musician’s effort.
In his ruling on Thursday, Judge John Kronstadt sided with Gaye’s estate, ruling that the plaintiffs “have made a sufficient showing that elements of ‘Blurred Lines’ may be substantially similar to protected, original elements of ‘Got to Give it Up.'”
Those elements reportedly include similar hooks, bass lines, keyboard parts and vocal lines.
In the original lawsuit filed in September, Williams, who produced the hit song, and Thicke sought to dismiss claims that Gaye’s song was copied.
“There are no similarities between plaintiffs’ composition and those the claimants allege they own, other than commonplace musical elements,” the pair’s lawyers wrote in the suit. “Plaintiffs created a hit and did it without copying anyone else’s composition.”
The trial will begin on February 15, 2015, according to the Times.