Ed Sheeran wins “Thinking Out Loud” copyright trial
A U.S court on Thursday ruled that British singer, Ed Sheeran’s hit “Thinking Out Loud” did not violate the copyright of Marvin Gaye’s classic song “Let’s Get It On.”
The Manhattan jury determined that Sheeran did not infringe on the compositional elements or melodies of “Let’s Get It On.” The jury determined that Sheeran wrote his song independently.
Earlier, the family of Ed Townsend, who co-wrote “Let’s Get It On” with Gaye, had accused Sheeran of copying the 1973 hit.
In response, Sheeran said the allegations in the copyright infringement trial are ‘really insulting’. He explained he and co-writer Amy Wadge wrote “Thinking Out Loud” in less than a day in February 2014 when Wadge was staying at his house in the UK.
According to him, they both had relatives who were ill or had recently died, and thinking about their long marriages inspired the song.
Ben Crump, a lawyer representing the family of the co-writer for Gaye’s 1973 hit “Let’s Get It On,” said in his opening statement that Sheeran played his ballad and Gaye’s song back-to-back in a medley during a concert, and called the moment a “smoking gun.”
Sheeran testified that the idea for the medley was “probably mine.” If he had indeed copied “Let’s Get It On,” he claimed, he “would’ve been an idiot to stand on stage in front of 20,000 people.”
The plaintiffs claimed that the chord progression, harmonic rhythm, and certain melodies in the two songs were similar.
Sheeran’s legal team, on the other hand, claimed that the melodies are distinct and that the elements used in both songs are common in pop music.
Reacting after the jury ruled in his favour, Sheeran said he is “obviously very happy with the outcome of the case. It looks like I’m not having to retire from my day job after all.”
“But at the same time I’m unbelievably frustrated that baseless claims like this are allowed to go to court at all,” he said.
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