Gaye's family sued EMI April, which is owned by Sony/ATV, last year for failing to protect his music from copyright infringement. EMI April also manages Thicke's copyright, so things got pretty complicated.
Sony/ATV -- which already owns a sizable 30-percent share of the music publishing market, as The Hollywood Reporter explains -- is now freed from having to explain its copyright protection practices.
With Sony/ATV's part in the legal drama out of the way, the case will now focus on the family's countersuit against Robin Thicke and his "Blurred Lines" collaborators T.I. and Pharrell. Thicke preemptively sued Gaye's estate last August, asking a judge to protect him from possible copyright infringement claims.
Thicke maintains that "Blurred Lines" is "reminiscent" of Gaye's sound, while Gaye's family have reportedly said Thicke has an obsession with the late artist.