Ed Sheeran did not copy Marvin Gaye’s ‘Let’s Get It On’ while writing ‘Thinking Out Loud,’ court rules
MANHATTAN, NEW YORK CITY: Ed Sheeran did not copy Marvin Gaye‘s ’70s hit ‘Let’s Get It On’ when writing ‘Thinking Out Loud’, the court ruled on Thursday. The verdict that found him not liable for copyright infringement was announced just a few hours after deliberations on Thursday.
The British singer-songwriter had vehemently denied stealing parts of the song for his massive global smash in 2014. Calling the accusations “insulting,” Sheeran, 32, had threatened to quit music if found guilty of plagiarizing the song during the New York trial.
Jurors ruled he ‘independently’ created his song
“If that happens, I’m done, I’m stopping,” he said when questioned about the emotional toll the Manhattan federal court trial was having on him. As per a report, Sheeran hugged his team after jurors ruled he “independently” created his song. He, as per Associated Press, mouthed “Thankyou” to the jury and spent about ten minutes talking to the plaintiffs, including Kathryn Townsend Griffin, the daughter of “Let’s Get It On” co-writer Ed Townsend as they “hugged and smiled with each other.” Sheeran’s wife, Cherry Seaborn, and co-writer Amy Wadge were reportedly in tears.
‘It looks like I’m not going to have to retire from my day job after all’
“It looks like I’m not going to have to retire from my day job after all,” he told reporters outside the courtroom, BBC reported. Stating that he was “obviously very happy” with the verdict. “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.
Sheeran also stated, “We need songwriters and the writing community to come together to bring back common sense.” He continued, “These claims must be stopped so the creative process can carry on and we can all get back to making music. And at the same time, we absolutely need trusted individuals, real experts, to help support the process and protect copyright.”
‘Sheeran is counting on you to be overwhelmed by his commercial success’
Gaye’s co-writer Ed Townsend represented by Keisha Rice explained that her clients were not claiming ownership of the fundamental components of music, but rather “the way in which these common elements were uniquely combined.” She told Jury, “Sheeran is counting on you to be very, very overwhelmed by his commercial success,” urging the jurors to use their “common sense” to decide whether the songs are similar.
What did Sheeran’s lawyer tell Jury
Sheeran’s lawyer, Ilene Farkas, had told the jurors in Manhattan federal court that similarities in the chord progressions and rhythms of Gaye’s classic and Sheeran’s hit Thinking Out Loud were “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 said as per the Guardian.