Ed Sheeran Emerges Victorious in Legal Battle Over “Thinking Out Loud”
British singer Ed Sheeran has won a legal battle in which he was accused of plagiarizing American legend Marvin Gaye’s hit single “Let’s Get It On” in his own hit song “Thinking Out Loud.” A jury in Manhattan ruled that Sheeran’s song did not infringe on the copyright of Gaye’s classic tune.
Background of the Lawsuit
The family of Ed Townsend, who co-wrote “Let’s Get It On” with Gaye, had accused Sheeran of copying elements of the 1973 hit song in his own composition. However, the court found that Sheeran did not improperly copy compositional elements from the single.
The legal defense for Sheeran argued that the chord progression, harmonic rhythm, and certain melodies of the two songs were common in pop music and that the melodies used in both songs were different.
Throughout the legal proceedings, Sheeran maintained his innocence and stated that if he had copied “Let’s Get It On,” he would have been a fool to perform “Thinking Out Loud” in front of a large audience. He also made the point that his song was written with Amy Wadge and came about after the death of his grandparent – it was about finding love in old age.
The Lawsuit Timeline
The lawsuit was filed in 2017 by Townsend’s blood relatives. They claimed that “Thinking Out Loud” shared “visible common elements” with Gaye’s copyright-protected 1973 record.
Sheeran was accused of copying the chord progression, harmonic rhythm, and certain melodies from “Let’s Get It On.” However, Sheeran’s legal defense argued that the two songs shared common elements typical of pop music.
Ed Sheeran emerged victorious from the lawsuit after the jury determined that his song did not infringe on the copyright of Gaye’s classic tune. The case highlights the issue of plagiarism in the music industry and reminds us that similar chord progressions and harmonic rhythms are common in pop music.