A group of Hall of Fame songwriters filed a legal brief on Wednesday opposing a judge's ruling in the controversial "Blurred Lines" lawsuit, which they say hurts copyright protections for songs recorded before 1978, according to The Tennessean.
Thicke and Williams subsequently appealed, and a tangential issue has arisen: how songs recorded prior to 1978 are protected from copyright infringement. A federal judge ruled that the only elements of "Got To Give It Up" subject to federal copyright protections are those reflected on the lead sheet - a document filed with the U.S. Copyright Office. Gaye's attorneys, including Nashville-based Richard Busch, have argued that the lead sheet was a perfunctory document filed by an unnamed person.
They say the basis for copyright theft should hinge on the borrowed elements from the sound recording of "Got To Give It Up," and not the lead sheet. Thicke and Williams' attorneys argue the opposite. They say that the two songs feel similar, but that actual copyright theft did not take place. Thicke said in media interviews that "Blurred Lines" was inspired by "Got To Give It Up," but in legal filings he denied that he stole from "Got To Give It Up."
Since 1978, the policy of the Copyright Office has been to accept sound recordings when registering the copyright for a song. The Gaye family argued in a filing last week that limiting the copyright protections for older songs to the lead sheet would empower unscrupulous contemporary songwriters to sift through old lead sheets and then steal any elements not listed there when writing new songs.