Ed Sheeran wins copyright case over “Thinking Out Loud”

Ed Sheeran wins copyright case over “Thinking Out Loud”

…By Henry George for TDPel Media.

Ed Sheeran has won a copyright case brought against him in New York.

The singer was alleged to have used elements of Marvin Gaye’s “Let’s Get It On” for his 2014 hit, “Thinking Out Loud,” which claimants said shared “striking similarities” with the 1973 soul classic.

Sheeran was taken to court by the family of Ed Townsend, who co-wrote Gaye’s song.

After his win, Sheeran vented his frustration at the “baseless” case going to court and having to miss his grandmother’s funeral for the trial.

Sheeran described himself as “just a guy with a guitar who loves writing music for people to enjoy” and criticised the lawsuit.

He said, “I’m obviously very happy with the outcome of this case, and it looks like I’m not going to have to retire from my day job after all.”

However, he expressed his frustration that baseless claims like this are allowed to go to court at all, adding that being in New York for the trial meant he missed his grandmother’s funeral in Ireland.

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During the trial, jurors heard from numerous industry experts and musicologists, as well as Sheeran himself.

Sheeran thanked the jury for making the decision that will help protect the creative process of songwriters in the US and all around the world, as well as the co-writer of “Thinking Out Loud,” Amy Wadge.

The case was brought by Townsend’s family, who claimed that Sheeran had copied the “heart” of “Let’s Get It On” by copying its “harmonic progressions, melodic and rhythmic elements” without their consent, credit or compensation.

The family requested a preliminary and permanent injunction against any future recording, distribution, or public performance of “Thinking Out Loud.”

However, after deliberating for just under three hours, jurors found that Sheeran had not infringed on the family’s copyright interest in Gaye’s song.

The verdict in the US trial follows a similar but separate copyright case that Sheeran faced in London last year over his 2017 hit “Shape Of You.”

Sheeran’s victory in this case is a significant win for artists and the wider music industry.

The ruling reinforces the notion that music creation is about inspiration and influence, not copying, and it is a reminder that music copyright cases are often complex and difficult to prove.

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