OAN Brooke Mallory
UPDATED 10:47 AM – Thursday, May 4, 2023
Ed Sheeran has been found not guilty of copyright infringement by a Manhattan jury.
The heirs of Ed Townsend, who wrote the 1973 slow jam classic “Let’s Get It On” by Marvin Gaye, sued the 32-year-old British singer-songwriter.
Townsend’s heirs filed the lawsuit against Sheeran, Warner Music Group, and Sony Music Publishing.
They claimed that Sheeran’s 2014 song “Thinking Out Loud” unlawfully appropriated the anthem’s harmonic progressions, melodic structures, and rhythmic elements.
Last year, Sheeran won another copyright infringement case involving his track “Shape of You.” Marvin Gaye’s heirs, who are not parties to this current action, won a case involving “Got to Give it Up” against Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams in 2015.
Although the “Let’s Get It On” lawsuit was first filed in 2017, it took six years for it to be heard in a Manhattan federal court.
Sheeran vehemently refuted claims that the Marvin Gaye song was copied. His attorneys had contended that the song makes use of generic structures that are present in other pop songs.
He also reportedly informed the court this week that he would stop making music all together if he lost.
Sheeran’s father told mourners at his grandmother’s funeral that the singer was “so upset” that he couldn’t make it, due to his mandatory attendance at the trial.
“I am very sad that our son Edward is unable to be here today. He’s so upset that he cannot be present… Our son Edward… has to be thousands of miles away in a court in America defending his integrity,” his father said during the eulogy.
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