Ed Sheeran found ‘not guilty’; Singer wins the copyright lawsuit over Marvin Gaye’s ‘Let’s Get It On’

Ed Sheeran, the famous British singer-songwriter has been found ‘not guilty’ of copyright infringement lawsuit filed by Marvin Gaye‘s family for allegedly copying the late musician’s 70’s hit number, ‘Let’s Get It On‘.

A Manhattan jury has found Ed Sheeran hit “Thinking Out Loud” not liable in a case of copyright infringement, determining that he did not plagiarize elements of Marvin Gaye’s soul classic “Let’s Get It On” and added that his song is independently created.

Sheeran staunchly denied copying the song, and at one point in the trial played an acoustic guitar for the jurors while explaining that Wadge developed the song’s opening chord progression.

Earlier in the trial, which began April 25, lawyers for the Townsend heirs showed the jury what they said was “a smoking gun” that proved Sheeran copied the song — a concert video of a live mash-up performance in which he sang both songs. Townsend lawyer Ben Crump said the performance was “a confession” of plagiarism.

During his initial testimony last week, Sheeran denied the video is proof and said it is “quite simple to weave in and out of songs” if they are in the same key.

“I’d be an idiot to stand on a stage in front of 20,000 people and do that,” Sheeran said of blatant plagiarism. “Most pop songs can fit over most pop songs.”

Sheeran’s song, which came out in 2014, was a hit, winning a Grammy for song of the year. His lawyers argued that the songs shared versions of a similar and unprotectable chord progression freely available to all songwriters.

While on the stand, Sheeran was asked by his lawyer, Ilene Farkas, what he would do if he were to lose the lawsuit. Sheeran’s answer was simple: “If that happens, I’m done, I’m stopping.” The singer called the lawsuit “really insulting.” “I work really hard to be where I’m at,” he told the jury.

This trial comes one year after Sheeran won a similar copyright lawsuit over his biggest hit, “Shape of You. At the time, Sheeran called the lawsuit “really damaging to the songwriting industry.”

After being declared free of any wrongdoing, Ed Sheeran will now escape the fate suffered by Robin Thicke and Pharrell William who were asked by a US court to pay the Marvin Gaye estate $5 million for plagiarising the deceased in their chart-topping single ‘Blurred Lines’. 

Fans will also be relieved to learn that the British megastar won’t be quitting music any time soon.

Earlier in 2017, Sheeran settled out of court over claims that his song “Photograph shared striking similarities to the Matt Cardle song “Amazing”. He has since said he regrets the settlement because it opened the “floodgates” for more bogus copyright claims.

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Adedamola Edun is a Brand manager, Talent manager, PR manager, Showbiz promoter and Multimedia Entrepreneur.

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