Marvin Gaye’s Children Respond to Lawsuit filed by Robin Thicke, Pharrell Williams and Clifford Harris, Jr.

Today, the children of the late Marvin Gaye responded today in US District Court to the lawsuit that was filed against them by Robin Thicke, Pharrell Williams and Clifford Harris, Jr., according to Mark Levinsohn, the NY entertainment attorney who represents Nona and Frankie Gaye in transactional matters. In that initial suit, filed on August 15, 2013, Thicke and his “Blurred Lines” collaborators sued to stop any claims they thought the children of Marvin Gaye may or would have against their intentional copyright infringement of the Marvin Gaye song “Got to Give it Up.” As Zoe Chace for National Public Radio stated on the NPR website on August 19, 2013: “Robin Thicke’s Song Sounds Like Marvin Gaye. So He’s Suing Gaye’s Family.”

According to the children, The “Blurred Lines” trio “rushed” to file their case soon after their song began attracting overwhelming attention from critics and fans about the substantial similarities that surpass the realm of coincidence to “Got to Give it Up.”  On August 8, 2013 Rob Hoerburger in the New York Times   wrote “But what I keep coming back to is the song’s choice DNA…And that bass line came right from Marvin Gaye’s No. 1 hit from the summer of ’77, ‘Got to Give It Up’.” In the August 23, 2013 issue of Rolling Stone Magazine, Contributor David Ritz wrote, “When I first heard Robin Thicke’s ‘Blurred Lines,’ my reaction was the same as millions of other R&B fans: Hey, that’s Marvin Gaye’s “Got to Give It Up.”  Thicke and company not only copped Gaye’s distinct bass line, but the defining funk of the cowbell accents. I wasn’t entirely surprised, since some years earlier Thicke’s ‘Love After War’ was a virtual lift of Marvin’s ‘After the Dance’ …”  A quick review of the internet reveals these comments are far from alone in this respect.

Indeed, the three writers filed their lawsuit against Gaye’s children shortly after the numerous “Got to Give it Up” similarities started surfacing and just weeks after all the online chat rooms were abuzz with discussions of the two songs, including fan postings of musical mash-ups that demonstrated the overlapping comparisons. As music critic Paul Cantor pointed out on Vice Magazine’s website in July 2013, “You probably don’t feel guilty for liking ‘Blurred Lines.’ Maybe that’s because it was originally a Marvin Gaye song (“Got To Give It Up”) and Marvin Gaye is … awesome.”

Initially Gaye’s children assumed that Thicke and Williams had obtained the proper license from EMI/SONY to use their father’s song “Got to Give it Up” when they decided to deliberately recreate the very essence of the song with “Blurred Lines”, but they were sadly mistaken.

Although representatives for the parties had ongoing discussions about the copying and possibility of a settlement, there was never any monetary offer made by Robin Thicke, Pharrell Williams or their representatives to the Gaye family for use of the copyright, as erroneously reported by Billboard Magazine in August 2013.  Instead, Thicke decided to wage a very contradictory public denial about his creative intentions and file a preemptive strike against any claims by the family.  On July 9, 2013 he told Billboard Magazine, “Pharrell and I were in the studio making a couple records, and then on the third day I told him I wanted to do something kinda like Marvin Gaye’s ‘Got To Give It Up,’ that kind of feel ’cause it’s one of my favorite songs of all time. So he started messing with some drums and then he started going ‘Hey, hey hey..’ and about an hour and a half later we had the whole record finished.”  However, by September 2013 Thicke back peddled and did a one-eighty, telling TMZ that even though he’s a big fan of Marvin Gaye, the Motown legend is not in his head when he writes songs, including “Blurred Lines.”

When Gaye’s children raised their concerns to EMI/SONY, they were told that no license was granted, nor was any license needed.

The initial lawsuit filed by the Blurred Lines writers not only asks that any copyright infringement claims be rejected, but also challenges the family to prove that they (and not their publisher) have the right to sue.  According to the Gaye children, “EMI/SONY publishes and administers our father’s catalog so contractually, it would be for them to file the countersuit.  However, when we requested that they take action, they refused. They also refused to assign to us the right to file for ourselves.” It is because of this and other factors outlined in the countersuit that the family is reluctantly suing EMI/SONY for breach of contract and failing to perform their fiduciary duties. Coincidently EMI/SONY also represents Pharrell Williams.

We have put a lot of effort into this matter, investigated it thoroughly, and believe we have a strong case,” says Richard S. Busch of Nashville and San Diego-based King & Ballow, who is litigation counsel for the Gaye children. He adds, “The counterclaim and court filing speak for themselves, and I look forward to presenting this case to the court and ultimately to a jury who will be able to listen to the songs themselves.”

Things to Do in New York: The 89th Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

There are many things to do in New York for the holidays, but few are as iconic as the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. The Manhattan Hotel – A New York Hotel welcomes visitors to this event with special offers

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Of all the Things to do in New York for Thanksgiving, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is by far the most iconic. For 89 years this parade has been part of the Thanksgiving holiday. As 3.5 million people gather along the parade route, 44 million more watch the parade on TV while they put the finishing touches on their Thanksgiving dinners. The Manhattan Hotel – A New York Hotel has impressive special offers to welcome those who have come to see the parade live. With the ultimate New York location, guests at The Manhattan Hotel – A New York Hotel are just steps from exciting Times Square, the Broadway Theater District, Central Park, Empire State Building, and neighborhoods of Greenwich Village and SoHo to Central Park, Rockefeller Center, and Madison Avenue.

Scens from Recent Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parades

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New Magazine, BurdaStyle, Fills the Void for DIY Fashionistas and establishes the intersection of “couture and craft”

For the more than 19 million active sewers in the US looking to create runway fashions on a budget, BurdaStyle magazine–new from F+W Media–delivers with 40+ fashion sewing patterns (including 20 full-size pull-out inserts), sewing tips and techniques, fashion trends, and DIY projects straight from the runway in each issue. Known across the globe as the premier sewing magazine for fashion and style, BurdaStyle will debut its first-ever U.S. Edition on newsstands across North America this month. Readers can learn more about subscriptions here.

BurdaStyle magazine establishes the intersection of "couture and craft" for DIY audience.  (PRNewsFoto/F+W Media)

BurdaStyle magazine establishes the intersection of “couture and craft” for DIY audience. (PRNewsFoto/F+W Media)

Our BurdaStyle editors take inspiration from runways around the globe and translate that into stylish DIY projects from accessories to garments to full outfits,” says sewing and fashion expert Denise Wild, Editorial Director of BurdaStyle U.S. Edition. The inaugural issue features looks inspired by Chanel, Basler, Issey Miyake, and Philip Lim. “We’re bringing the latest designs and the season’s most stylish patterns to the North American audience in a way that focuses on inspiring, developing, and challenging DIYers of all skill levels.”

www.BurdaStyle.com is the largest global fashion and sewing community online, with more than 900,000 members and 7 million page views each month. The site offers downloadable PDF sewing patterns, project ideas, tutorials, and online education. Known around the globe since 1949 as the premier sewing magazine for fashion and style, BurdaStyle is available in 90 countries and published in 17 different languages.

Organizers of The Sydney Festival Announces the 2014 Program

 

Every January, Sydney Festival (January 9-26, www.sydneyfestival.org.au) enlivens and transforms Sydney (Australia) with a bold cultural celebration based on the highest quality art and big ideas. The program is kaleidoscopic in its diversity, from burlesque circus to New York rap to Russian theatre; from contemporary dance to family programs to traditional Indigenous arts practice. In all, the program comprises around 300 performances and around 100 events performed by over 1,000 artists in at least 20 venues each year. Inclusive programming, a broad range of free events and accessible pricing policies for the ticketed shows means that Sydney Festival is open to all, welcoming Sydneysiders and visitors from wherever they live. Tickets to all performances are available on the day for only $25 at the Tix for Next to Nix booth in Martin Place in the heart of Sydney’s CBD.

There’s also the famous free concerts in The Domain or Parramatta. Summer Sounds has featured the sounds of Brazil, Gypsies, New Orleans and Mali and is followed the next weekend by the orchestral power of the Sydney Symphony. Throughout January the Festival Garden is home to the Spiegeltent with a captivating program of burlesque and music which makes the most of the summer nights in the atmospheric setting of Hyde Park and Paradiso at Town Hall resonates with the energy of bands and DJs until late at night.

More than any other cultural event, Sydney Festival defines Sydney’s personality. For over three decades they have presented international artists who guarantee headlines, and whose presence in Sydney adds to the Festival’s buzz and prestige. Names like Björk, Brian Wilson, Grace Jones, Manu Chao, Elvis Costello, AR Rahman, Cate Blanchett, Ralph Fiennes, Robert Lepage, Peter Sellars and Sir Ian McKellen alongside some of the world’s great companies – Wayne McGregor’s Random Dance, Cheek by Jowl, Gate Theatre and the Schaubühne Berlin to name only a few – share the Festival with the most exciting artists and companies in Australia.

Sydney Festival’s audacious contemporary programming positions it at the forefront of arts practice in Australia and up there as one of the most wonderful festivals in the world. Sydney Festival relies on a mix of government funding; corporate, media and production partnerships; as well as philanthropic giving

Festival Director Lieven Bertels and the Sydney Festival team revealed the full program for Sydney Festival 2014, an explosion of exceptional theatre, dance, music, visual arts, film and more that will bring the harbour city to life from January 9-26.

Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman’s 15-metre high yellow Rubber Duck made quite the splash in Darling Harbour, so it's back for the 2014 Festival.

Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman’s 15-metre high yellow Rubber Duck made quite the splash in Darling Harbour, so it’s back for the 2014 Festival.

Sydneysiders and visitors know Sydney Festival is one of the most wonderful summer festivals in the world – a claim underpinned by the city’s lustre and charisma, making it an ideal showcase for the world’s great artists.

The Sydney Festival 2014 is comprised of 104 events, a staggering 21 of which are free. With 372 performances across 33 indoor and outdoor venues, Sydney Festival 2014 features 722 artists from 80 companies across 17 countries. With 10 world premieres, 4 Australian premieres and 13 Australian exclusives, summer in our beautiful city is absolutely not to be missed.

If you are really into your arts, Sydney Festival will not disappoint, with opera, dance, theatre and music acts from across Australia and the world.” says Festival Director, Lieven Bertels.

Against a backdrop of some of the world’s greatest theatre and dance, new Australian works of magnitude and cultural importance dominate this year’s theatre program. The world premiere of Black Diggers (directed by Wesley Enoch and written by Tom Wright) unfolds the untold stories of 1000 Indigenous soldiers who fought in World War One, whilst Michael Kantor and Tom E. Lewis’ indigenous re-working of King Lear in The Shadow King has recently premiered to a rousing reception by audiences in Melbourne, Australia.

Internationally acclaimed choreographer Shaun Parker returns to the Sydney Festival with the world premiere of Am I, whilst Halina Reijn performs the lead role in the retelling of the 1927 monologue by Jean Cocteau in the voyeuristic La Voix Humaine. Philip Glass presents a live score to Godfrey Reggio’s Visitors to follow its premiere at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival and after a five month sell out season on London’s Southbank LIMBO returns to heat up the 1920s Speigeltent in the wildly expanded Festival Village.

A main highlight of the 2014 program is Henry Purcell’s great romantic tragedy Dido & Aeneas in Sasha Waltz’s wondrous reimagining of the great opera, featuring stunning choreography, a prologue performed in a giant fish tank underwater, and celebrated baroque orchestra Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin. Reigning queen of contemporary German dance-theatre, Sasha Waltz, stages a radical re-telling of Henry Purcell’s Baroque masterpiece, Dido & Aeneas. The oldest love story in English opera, this tragic tale of unrequited love is brought to life by sixty exceptional dancers, singers and musicians at the Sydney Lyric from 16 to 21 January 2014. Dido & Aeneas is set to be as big an operatic sensation in the 2014 Sydney Festival as Semele Walk was in 2013.

Waltz casts both a dancer and singer in each role and tells the story of Dido, Queen of Carthage, who reluctantly falls in love with the shipwrecked Aeneas. Later, Dido is brutally rejected when he is deceived into leaving her, and she takes her own life.

Dido and Aeneas

Dido and Aeneas

As it’s the sea that brings Aeneas to Dido and takes him away again, it is not surprising that Waltz uses water as a central motif in her realisation of the myth. Waltz opens the show in a visually arresting fashion – an aquatic prologue, where a giant water tank, almost spanning the entire width of the stage, is raised several metres off the floor. From a ladder, dancers climb to the top of the tank to gaze and point at the audience, and then plunge in ducking, diving and weaving their steps, staying submerged for impossibly long times. Continue reading

Sony Expands High Resolution Audio Line with New Portable DAC/Amplifier and ES Series Integrated Stereo Amplifier

AT HOME OR ON THE ROAD, BOTH PRODUCTS DELIVER THE HIGHEST QUALITY LISTENING EXPERIENCE FOR DIGITAL MUSIC ENTHUSIASTS

Sony Electronics extended its new line of High Resolution Audio products by introducing the PHA-2 Portable Headphone DAC/Amplifier and TA-A1ES Integrated Stereo Amplifier. Both products offer superior sound reproduction and have been specifically designed to support the latest high-resolution music sources.

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Sony continues its commitment to audio enthusiasts who truly care about music by offering the finest quality products that meet practically every lifestyle need,” said Aaron Levine, Business Manager for Sony Electronics’ Home Entertainment & Sound Division. “High Resolution Audio is elevating the digital music experience to a whole new level and both of these devices provide an outstanding listening experience – whether at home or on the go.”

All of Sony’s new High-Resolution Audio products have been created to make listening to digital music more compatible, convenient and compelling. Each of these devices is capable of playing back virtually any file format available. Whether it’s MP3s or the latest Double DSD files, Sony’s high-resolution devices will decode them and reproduce the music at the highest quality possible, so you can experience these recordings as the artists originally intended.

With the growth of audio technologies, including high-resolution formats like PCM (44.1kHz/ 48kHz/ 88.2kHz/ 96kHz/ 176.4kHz/ 192kHz in 24 bit depth) and DSD (DSF, DSDIFF); plus MP3, WAV, WMA, AAC, FLAC, ALAC, ATRAC, ATRAC Advanced Lossless and AIFF; there are an increasing number of digital music files to choose from. The new Sony Hi-Res Audio products simplify this process and make transferring these files more convenient and more intuitive. Further, all of the controls, including the user interfaces, have been designed to make storing, organizing and accessing digital music a breeze.

The new Sony PHA-2 Portable Headphone DAC/Amplifier was conceived to deliver superior sound reproduction from a variety of audio sources and is the first portable DAC/amplifier to be compatible with virtually every high-resolution digital file format, including up to 192 kHz/24-bit PCM and both DSD (2.8MHz) and Double DSD (5.6MHz). Listeners can also enjoy upgraded sound quality with MP3 files and other music sources. Continue reading

LIONSGATE And Lakeshore’s I, Frankenstein Rages Into Imax ® Theatres across the U.S. Starting January 24, 2014

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IMAX Corporation and Lionsgate announced that I, Frankenstein, starring Aaron Eckhart, will be digitally re-mastered into the immersive IMAX® format and released into IMAX® theatres across the U.S. beginning January 24, 2014 as well as a number of international territories.

IMAX, an innovator in entertainment technology, combines proprietary software, architecture and equipment to create experiences that take you beyond the edge of your seat to a world you’ve never imagined. Top filmmakers and studios are utilizing IMAX theatres to connect with audiences in extraordinary ways, and, as such, IMAX’s network is among the most important and successful theatrical distribution platforms for major event films around the globe.

The IMAX release of I, Frankenstein will be digitally re-mastered into the image and sound quality of The IMAX Experience® with proprietary IMAX DMR® (Digital Re-mastering) technology. The crystal-clear images, coupled with IMAX’s customized theatre geometry and powerful digital audio, create a unique environment that will make audiences feel as if they are in the movie.

I, Frankenstein is the kind of action thriller IMAX fans seek out,” said Greg Foster, CEO of IMAX Entertainment and Senior Executive Vice President, IMAX Corp.  “The producers certainly have a strong track record – with the Underworld franchise having grossed more than $460 million at the global box office – and we’re excited to team up with them once again as they launch this all new cinematic world.”

200 years after his shocking creation, Dr. Frankenstein’s creature, Adam (Eckhart), still walks the earth. But when he finds himself in the middle of a war over the fate of humanity, Adam discovers he holds the key that could destroy humankind. The action thriller I, Frankenstein is written for the screen and directed by Stuart Beattie from a screen story by Grevioux and Beattie. The film is brought to life by a cast that includes Eckhart, Bill Nighy, Yvonne Strahovski, Miranda Otto, Socratis Otto, Jai Courtney, Kevin Grevioux, Mahesh Jadu, Caitlin Stasey and Aden Young as Victor Frankenstein. Lionsgate/Lakeshore Entertainment/Sidney Kimmel Entertainment present a Hopscotch Features/Lakeshore Entertainment/Lionsgate/Sidney Kimmel Entertainment production.

We’re very pleased to extend our longstanding partnership with IMAX around the world, and we’re thrilled to bring audiences an immersive experience in IMAX that will give resonance to I, Frankenstein’s visual scope and effects,” said Lionsgate President of Domestic Theatrical Distribution Richard Fay.

For more information about I, Frankenstein, please visit Lionsgate’s official website at http://www.lionsgate.com/movies/ifrankenstein/

2013 Holiday Gift Guide: HSN Invites Holiday Shoppers To Win Big With Its More The Merrier Sweepstakes Presented By Toyota; Exciting New Launches And Special Holiday Offers

HSN’s Biggest Holiday Sweepstakes Ever includes a 2014 Toyota Camry Hybrid Giveaway; Tickets to Once-in-a-Lifetime Experiential Events; Special Holiday Gift Bundles; Facebook and Instagram Contests and More

More the Merrier Holiday Shopping Season on HSN, HSN.com and HSN Mobile Begins Today

Interactive lifestyle retailer HSN is the ultimate destination for gifts this holiday season with curated options, special offers and exciting giveaways. Holiday shoppers will find everything they need to check off their list when they visit the More the Merrier Holiday Gift Store on www.HSN.com.  The gifting portal offers unique, exciting gifts; all presented by today’s hottest brands, biggest designers, well-known celebrities and trusted experts.

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HSN customers will have the opportunity to win big during the “More the Merrier Sweepstakes presented by Toyota.” The nine-week, multi-platform sweepstakes offers consumers the chance to win an array of prizes through the HSN Arcade gaming portal on www.HSN.com or by using their tablet or smartphone via HSN Mobile.  Top prizes include:

— 2014 Toyota Camry Hybrid – One lucky winner will bring home the redesigned 2014 Camry Hybrid.  Toyota has combined Camry reliability with refined design, extra features and hybrid technology in this sophisticated new model from Toyota.

— NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Getaway – Those who have a need for speed will find the perfect getaway if they win this exciting trip for two to the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Toyota Owners 400 race at the Richmond International Speedway. The once-in-a-lifetime vacation package includes hotel and airfare, VIP tickets to the race, pre-race pit and garage access and the chance to meet a Sprint Cup Toyota driver.

— HSN Holiday Gift Bundles – Tis the Chic Season…Gifty Gadgets…Eat, Drink and Be Merry…these are just a few of the HSN-Logospecially themed gift packages that HSN will be awarding winners weekly from October 15 through December 19.  These highly creative gift bundles will include a wide range of gifts including luxurious handbags from Twiggy, Beats Pill wireless speakers, Dyson Hard DC56 vacuums and more!

— Ozark Mountains Guided Fishing Trip – A fisherman’s dream vacation, one lucky winner and a guest will win a two-night getaway to the Big Cedar Lodge in the beautiful Ozark Mountains.  During the trip, they will have the opportunity to fish with Kevin VanDam, the number one angler in the world.

New Launches

For the aspiring musician on your list, four-time Grammy Award-winner Keith Urban will present his new Urban Guitar Collection exclusively on HSN on November 3. This beautiful new guitar set will look great under any Christmas tree and provide years of enjoyment as you learn how to play guitar from Urban himself through easy to follow instructional DVDs.

The legendary Iris Apfel has teamed up with Swarovski to create a special HSN jewelry capsule collection. With more information to come closer to the launch in early December, shoppers will be able to purchase the launch pieces of this special collaboration for holiday.

Culinary gifts are great for the foodies in your family – or to help out the hostess in need.  Celebrity Chef Lorena Garcia will debut a collection of kitchenware set to launch exclusively on HSN, HSN.com and HSN mobile this November just in time for the holiday entertaining season. Continue reading