Ed Sheeran wins copyright trial over claim Thinking Out Loud ripped off Martin Gaye

Ed Sheeran has won a US copyright lawsuit which alleged he copied parts of Marvin Gaye’s hit song Let’s Get It On for his own track Thinking Out Loud.

The lawsuit was officially filed in 2017 and claimed Ed had ripped off part of the classic Marvin Gaye song.

The British musician was taken to court by the family of Ed Townsend, Gaye’s co-writer of the 1973 soul classic. They claimed that Sheeran’s 2014 song, written with collaborator Amy Wadge, bore “striking similarities” and “overt common elements” to Let’s Get It On.

The trail in New York lasted for a week where Ed and the song's co-writer, Amy Wadge, gave evidence including several live singing performances.

The singer explained that he had written the song when he was at home in England and that his grandparents were the inspiration behind the song, as well as a new romance which had just sparked around that time.

Ed’s lawyer, Ilene Farkas, spoke to the jurors and said that the similarities in the two songs are the “basic musical building blocks” that all songwriters use and also “must be free” to use.

Keisha Rice, who represented the family of Ed Townsend said that her clients were specifically not claiming to own musical elements but said that is it "the way in which these common elements were uniquely combined."

Singer and songwriter Ed Sheeran told the court: "When you write songs, somebody comes after you", before telling jurors that he finds the claims “insulting”.

Ed also expressed during the New York trials that is he was found guilty, he would stop creating music all together.

Ed said: “If that happens, I'm done, I'm stopping.”

Following the trial jurors found he had not infringed on the family’s copyright interest in Gaye’s song and Ed emerged victorious.

Being part of a copyright lawsuit trail is not unfamiliar territory for the British singer who won a court battle last year over his hit son Shape of You.

Ed was accused of being a "magpie" who "borrows" ideas from other artists, and he denied copying other songwriters Sami Chokri and Ross O'Donoghue and their song Oh Why, which was released in 2015.

Chokri and O'Donoghue had claimed the Shape of You chorus, which 31 year old Sheeran sings out “oh I oh I oh I”, was actually stolen from their own chorus “oh why oh why oh why”.

Sheeran and his collaborators maintained they respect the music of those who have come before and inspired them, and it was "painful" to hear someone "challenge their integrity".


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