Having written and produced some of the biggest songs of the 21st century, The-Dream is something of an expert witness when it comes to the contemporary recording process. That process is at the heart of the recent decision to award Marvin Gaye's family millions of dollars because of Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams' "Blurred Lines." A jury found that the 2013 smash copied Gaye's "Got to Give It Up," and journalists and attorneys are speculating about the larger ramifications the decision will have on the world of music.

Complex spoke with The-Dream about the decision, when it's acceptable for an artist to sue another artist over copyright infringement, and the type of copycats that would keep The-Dream in court on a regular basis.

This is the first part of an interview series with The-Dream on the state of contemporary R&B and what we can expect from his upcoming pair of EPs, Crown and Jewel.