Ed Sheeran to Face Trial Over Marvin Gaye Song Copyright Claims
Ed Sheeran will have to face a jury trial regarding the accusations that he lifted parts of his 2014 hit ‘Thinking Out Loud’ from Marvin Gaye’s classic song ‘Let’s Get It On’.
As per Billboard, the decision comes on part of a federal judge who blocked the singer-songwriter’s request to toss out the case, which has been ongoing since 2018.
The parties behind the copyright claims – who are partial owners of Gaye’s 1972 song – are seeking $100 million in damages from the English pop star.
Sheeran’s attorneys, however, are claiming the alleged stolen portions of song are “commonplace,” and as a result are not warranted for a copyright infringement claim.
According to the report, Sheeran will have to appear in front of a Manhattan federal jury, decided by Judge Louis Stanton on Thursday. Stanton ruled there was “no bright-line rule” for the attorney’s proposed dispute.
The initial lawsuit claimed that Sheeran had lifted a chord progression and the harmonic rhythm from Gaye’s song. The parties behind the suit have now adjusted their claims to acknowledge Sheeran’s attorneys, agreeing that the song elements are “commonplace and unprotectable.”
According to them, though, it’s the combination of those elements that makes them exclusively Gaye’s, and therefore shielded by copyright law.
It’s not the first time Sheeran has faced similar accusations. He’s previously battled lawsuits against ‘Photograph’, which was settled out of court, and ‘The Rest of Our Life’, which was dismissed at the singer’s request.
More recently, he won a case arguing he had plagiarised his huge hit ‘Shape of You’. It was after the latter case that he issued a video statement claiming that such cases were “really damaging to the songwriting industry.”
“Whilst we’re obviously happy with the result I feel like claims like this are way too common now and we’ve become a culture where a claim is made with the idea that settlement will be cheaper than taking it to court, even if there is no base to the claim,” he said at the time.