Singer Ed Sheeran Wins Copyright Lawsuit Over Marvin Gaye’s “Let’s Get It On,” Won’t Quit Performing
A jury decided Thursday that Ed Sheeran‘s 2014 hit “Thinking Out Loud” did not steal from Marvin Gaye‘s “Let’s Get It On.”
After the verdict, Sheeran, 32, nodded his head in acknowledgment to the jurors and mouthed the words “Thank you.”
The ruling came after a two-week copyright infringement trial between the singer-songwriter and the estate of Ed Townsend, who co-wrote the classic 70s song with Gaye.
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Sheeran called the copyright allegations “insulting.” He and his co-writer Amy Wage testified that the chords the lawsuit was concerned about were a “common progression” used in several songs.
Outside the courthouse, Sheeran read an official statement to reporters. The singer said he missed his grandmother’s funeral in Ireland due to the trial and would “never get that time back.”
The estate of Towsend claimed that “Thinking Out Loud” had “striking similarities and “overt common elements” to “Let’s Get It On.”
Kathryn Townsend Griffin, daughter of Ed Townsend, said the lawsuit wasn’t a personal attack against Sheeran but a promise to her father to protect his music. At the beginning of the trial, plaintiff attorney Ben Crump told jurors that Sheeran sometimes performed the two songs together during concerts, suggesting that it was “smoking gun” evidence that Sheeran stole from “Let’s Get It On.”
When Sheeran testified, he played his guitar several times to show how he creates “mashups” of multiple songs during live performances.
Sheeran won his first Grammy with “Thinking Out Loud.” As an artist who draws from classic soul, R&B and pop, he has been a prominent target of copyright lawsuits. Last year, he won a separate copyright infringement lawsuit over his 2017 track “Shape of You.”
Afterward, he criticized the apparent increase in copyright suits against music artists. Sheeran had said he would quit performing if he lost the lawsuit.
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