Ed Sheeran wins copyright court case after Thinking out Loud plagiarism accusations
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Singer Ed Sheeran has won his copyright court case after claims he copied lyrics from Marvin Gaye song ‘Let’s Get it On’.
The Shape Of You musician was sued by the family of Ed Townsend, Marvin Gaye’s co-writer, over alleged similarities between his song ‘Thinking Out Loud’ and Gaye’s Let’s Get it On.’
The singer said he would quit music if he was found guilty after the case. "If that happens, I'm done, I'm stopping," he said outside of the trial at Manhattan federal court.
Sheeran's lawyer, Ilene Farkas, told the jurors that similarities were down to "the letters of the alphabet of music”. "
"These are basic musical building blocks that songwriters now and forever must be free to use, or all of us who love music will be poorer for it," she added.
Keisha Rice, who represented the heirs of Gaye's co-writer Ed Townsend said the two songs "common elements were uniquely combined."
"Mr Sheeran is counting on you to be very, very overwhelmed by his commercial success," she said, urging jurors to use their "common sense" to decide whether the songs are similar.
However, jurors ruled that he "independently" created his song. Last year, Sheeran won a copyright battle at the High Court in London over his 2017 Shape of You.
Outside the court, Sheeran said he was "very happy" with the results. "It looks like I'm not going to have to retire from my day job after all," he told reporters.
"But at the same time I am absolutely frustrated that baseless claims like this are allowed to go to court at all. If the jury had decided this matter the other way we might as well say goodbye to the creative freedom of songwriters," he said.