Sheeran Cleared of Plagiarism: Jury Rules Gaye’s Song Not Copied

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Ed Sheeran can breathe a sigh of relief following a verdict by a jury in the US that he did not plagiarize key components of Marvin Gaye’s classic 1970s song “Let’s Get It On” to create his hit song “Thinking Out Loud.” The verdict followed a seven-year copyright fight, and Sheeran briefly buried his face in his hands in relief before rising to embrace his attorney.

Sheeran had jokingly threatened to quit music if he lost the case. However, everything turned out favorable for the singer; he posed for a photograph with a juror who stayed behind and later spoke to reporters outside the courthouse, saying, “I’m obviously very happy with the outcome of this case, and it looks like I won’t have to retire from my day job after all.”

Plaintiff Kathryn Townsend Griffin, the daughter of Ed Townsend, who created the 1973 soul classic with Gaye, said she was pleased Sheeran had reached out to her, adding that her copyright claim was not personal but that she wanted to fulfill the promise he made to his father to protect his intellectual property.

The case is not the first legal victory for Sheeran, whose musical style is based on classic soul, pop and R&B, making him the target of copyright lawsuits. A year ago, he won Britain’s copyright battle over his 2017 hit “Shape of You” and later denounced what he called a “culture” of unsubstantiated lawsuits forcing artists to settle to avoid the costs of a lawsuit.

In conclusion, Sheeran said he doesn’t want to be taken advantage of and wants to write music for people to enjoy.

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