Ed Sheeran

Ed Sheeran wins copyright trial regarding his single ‘Thinking Out Loud’

To loving fans around the world, Ed Sheeran is a loveable and highly accomplished singer-songwriter, whose music has brought him global success while creating a soundtrack for a generation.  Unfortunately, recent years have seen the English musician has faced a series of lawsuits in recent years where plaintiffs have looked to claim copyright infringements over some of his biggest tracks.

While Sheeran has faced previous lawsuits over his singles Photograph and Shape Of You, this latest one, regarding the famous Marvin Gaye single, Let’s Get It On, was his largest battle, as songwriter Ed Townsend’s estate originally brought up the claim in 2016, before Structured Asset Sales purchased a large stake in the publishing, and the case was relaunched in 2018.  With large cases being disputed over copyright infringement in recent years for artists such as Robin Thicke and Led Zeppelin, songwriters have found themselves in courtrooms more than studios for periods of time.  For Ed Sheeran, the plaintiff was looking to collect $100 million in the lawsuit, and the stress of the situation made the singer claim that he would “quit music altogether” if he lost.

The court case relied on musicologists reviewing the nature of chord structures and progressions, as well as video clips of Sheeran in concert, performing his single Thinking Out Loud, while interposing snippets of Let’s Get It On in the rendition.  The plaintiffs were hoping that this footage would solidify their case, while Ed Sheeran and his team opted to demonstrate how singles prior to the 1973 Gaye single also utilized similar musical patterns.  After three hours of deliberations, the jury returned a verdict in favor of Ed Sheeran, marking a big victory for him, as well as his fans as his career will continue forward.

Upon leaving the courthouse, Sheeran stated, “I am, obviously, very happy with the outcome of this case, and it looks like I’m not having to retire from my day job, after all. But, at the same time, I am unbelievably frustrated that baseless claims like this are allowed to go to court at all.”

Image Credit: Kamil_Took via Flickr | License: Public Domain Mark 1.0

Avid music fan, and avid music producer! Producer and songwriter for NOHC.

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