When I first heard "Blurred Lines," I was driving in my car. I knew I'd heard it before, but I couldn't place the song. So I Shazamed it. Still nothing. I didn't recognize the title. About a half-an-hour later . . . Abracadabra! I remembered Marvin Gaye's extended groove, "Got to Give It Up." I replayed Gaye's song, and the similarities were obvious.
Robin Thicke and his cohorts, Pharrel and TI, recently filed a preemptive lawsuit to protect their song from Marvin Gaye's estate. ("The lady doth protest too much, methinks.") Thicke claims in a GQ article that he was 'influenced' by "Got to Give It Up," and that he was reproducing a 'sound' from an earlier era. Obviously.
My question is: Can you plagiarize a vibe, an attitude? Can you copyright cool? You can pose, be a poseur when you imitate, but can you get sued/lose money for that? Isn't this where most pop music comes from? Most bands I've watched grow have imitated their heros.