Ed Sheeran Wins Copyright Infringement Lawsuit
“When [Ed Sheeran’s] hair all but gone and [his] memory fades” …. he will know that he did not copyright infringe. The remixed lyric comes from one of Ed Sheeran’s famous songs, Thinking Out Loud, which released in 2014. Since then, he’s been in a lawsuit battle for accusations of copying Marvin Gaye’s 1973 hit, Let’s Get It On. Yesterday, the jury found Sheeran not guilty of copyright infringement. All the English singer could do was sigh in relief.
Controversy In Thinking Out Loud
“I’m obviously very happy with the outcome of the case. And it looks like I’m not having to retire from my day job after all,” Sheeran told reporters outside the courthouse. “But at the same time, I’m unbelievably frustrated that baseless claims like this are allowed to go to court at all.”
The family of Marvin Gaye song’s late co-writer, Ed Townsend, made the infringement accusations. They believe Sheeran copied the rhythm, chord progression, and other elements of the song into his Grammy nominated hit.
Let’s Get It On stands as one of Gaye’s best efforts artistically and captures his musical essence vocally. Following its release, controversy arose with its overtly sexual subject matter. Townsend defended the song, saying that it is about going on with life.
Let’s Get It On With Trial
In defense, Sheeran and co-writer Amy Wadge testified that the song was original and born from an ’emotional conversation’. He made sure to show the difference, singing and playing the guitar on the stand throughout the trial. One moment depicts the musician performing a mash-up of both songs to demonstrate the similarities of the four-chord progression.
Ironically, Townsend’s lawyer, Ben Crump, shows a concert video in Switzerland in which Sheeran is segueing on stage between Let’s Get It On and Thinking Out Loud.
Sheeran’s attorney, Ilene Farkas, closes his point between the two songs in the video stating how all scaffolding of songwriting includes the structure.
Sheeran’s Similar History
This isn’t the first time either musician’s music is part of a copyright trial. Just last year, Sheeran won a copyright infringement involving “Shape of You.” Similarly with Gaye’s heirs, who are not involved in this current lawsuit, they won a case in 2015 against Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams involving “Got to Give it Up.”
After leaving the courtroom, Ed Sheeran approached plaintiff Kathryn Townsend Griffin, the daughter of Townsend. They spoke for about 10 minutes, hugging and smiling and, at one point, clasping their hands together. Sheeran pleased Griffin in approaching her, seeing that he has good character.
Featured Image by AP Images