A federal jury found on Thursday That Ed Sheeran didn’t play Marvin Gaye’s “Let’s Get It On” with the hit “Thinking Out Loud”.
The three men and four women jurors debated for less than three hours before reaching their verdict.
Since this is a split trial, that is, it is divided into a “crime” stage and a “punishment” stage, With Sheeran found not responsible, the case is now over.
The copyright lawsuit was first filed in 2018 by the estate of the late Ed Townsend, who co-wrote the 1973 R&B classic with Gaye.
In the initial complaint, the plaintiffs alleged that 32-year-old Sheeran and her co-writer Amy Wadge “copied and exploited” “Let’s Get It On” by copying various elements, including “melody, rhythms,” and “without permission or citation”. , harmonies, drums, bass line, backing chorus, tempo, syncope and loop.
“It’s about today and standing up for all artists, not just my father’s work,” Townsend’s daughter, Kathryn Griffin-Townsend, told CBS.
The copyright infringement lawsuit began on April 25 in Manhattan federal court.
A lawyer for Townsend’s heirs argued in his opening statement that a video of Sheeran performing a mix of “Thinking Out Loud” and “Let’s Get It On” at one of their concerts in Zurich in 2014 was the “smoking gun” for their lawsuit.
“When someone gives you [with] a voluntary confession, believe them,” said attorney Ben Crump. “Make no mistake about it: the evidence will show that Mr. Ed Sheeran . . . made a confession.”
Sheeran took the stand later that same day, apparently denying Gaye’s claim that she admitted to stealing her iconic piece on one of her shows.
“If I had done what you accused me of doing, I would have been a complete idiot to stand on a stage in front of 20,000 people and do it,” said the British singer-songwriter.
Sheeran also argued that this chord progression is common in pop songs of 1-3-4-5.
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“If you’re playing a song live and it fits the same tone, most pop songs will play the same three or four chords,” said the Shape of You singer.
This isn’t the first time Sheeran has been sued for allegedly copying another artist’s work.
In 2016, songwriters Martin Harrington and Thomas Leonard filed a lawsuit alleging the Grammy-winning singer’s ballad “Photograph” was a “verbal copying of their 2009 song “Amazing”. The case was settled out of court.
Sheeran was later accused of “blatantly copying” the song “When I Found You” to create “The Rest of Our Life”, which Jasmine Rae co-wrote for Faith Hill and Tim McGraw. According to Reuters, this lawsuit has also been settled.