Ed Sheeran Pleads NOT GUILTY to Marvin Gaye Copyright Lawsuit

Ed Sheeran won a copyright lawsuit brought against him by his family Marvin Gayesongwriting collaborator Ed Townsend.

The British singer has been accused of copying parts of Gaye’s “Let’s Get It On” for his hit song Thinking Out Loud.

After winning, Sheeran told the press that such “baseless claims” would one day stifle “the creative freedom of songwriters”.

The win marks the second time Sheeran has been found not guilty in a copyright lawsuit in two years, having previously won one brought against his hit song Shape of You.

Read on to learn more.

Ed Sheeran found not guilty of ripping off Marvin Gaye

Ed Sheeran at the 2022 BRIT Awards

Grayling Species, a Manhattan federal court found Sheeran not guilty of plagiarizing material from Gaye’s 1970s hit “Let’s Get It On” to create Thinking Out Loud.

The singer was in court for almost two weeks and admitted to the press after the verdict that he was “frustrated” by the disturbing incident.

“Looks like I don’t have to give up my day job after all,” Sheeran said, referring to his vow earlier this week to give up his music career if found guilty.

He also explained that such “baseless claims” that led to the copyright lawsuit “should never be allowed to go to court,” adding that adverse rulings stifle the “creative freedom of songwriters.”

The singer expressed his sadness at missing his grandmother’s funeral, which was held in Ireland on Wednesday, and said he would never get that time back.

The judge asked the jury to make its decision based on the facts

Ed Sheeran has announced his new album "Subtraction" based on his struggles and fears

U.S. District Court Judge Louis Stanton presided over the copyright trial and warned the jury before deliberating that “an independent work is a complete protection, no matter how similar the song.”

He also told jurors that the plaintiffs’ lawyers must “prove by a preponderance of the evidence … that Sheeran did copy and unlawfully copy ‘Let’s Get It,'” seemingly pointing out to them that their decision should be based not on emotion but on facts .

In the end, the verdict was in Sheeran’s favor, marking the second copyright lawsuit he won in two years.

He previously emerged victorious in a UK copyright battle that claimed he ripped off his 2015 song ‘Oh Why’ for Sami Chokri’s single ‘Shape of You’.

At the time, he expressed his distaste for “the culture of frivolous lawsuits designed to squeeze money out of artists who are trying to avoid the costs of litigation.”

Ed Sheeran has vowed to quit music if found guilty

Ed Sheeran at the film premiere in London yesterday

If the jury had ruled in favor of the plaintiff in Gaye’s copyright case, Sheeran would have had to pay $100 million in damages. However, the exact amount would have been determined during a second trial.

Additionally, the decision could mean that fans will no longer receive new music and live performances from Sheeran, as he promised earlier this week that he would give up his music career if he loses the case.

At the time, he also described the copyright charges as “infringing” on the hard work he had put in over the years to carve out a niche in the music industry.

“If that happens, I’m done; I quit,” Sheeran told the press before the not guilty verdict Daily Mail. “I find it insulting that I’ve dedicated my whole life to being a performer and a songwriter, and for someone to diminish that.”

Ed Sheeran denies copying Marvin Gaye’s song

Berlin: Ed Sheeran at Berlinale 2018

During the trial, the singer did his best to refute the accusations and point out the weak points of some of the plaintiff’s arguments.

Part of his defense was to explain that “a lot of the songs have similar chords,” which made it easy for him to mix them up for his concerts, but that this did not indicate that he had copied the songs.

He said after the plaintiff’s lawyers submitted a video of him seamlessly switching between the two songs involved in the copyright lawsuit, which proved the singer’s guilt.

The “Shape of You” hitmaker said: “If I had done what you’re accusing me of, I’d be quite the idiot to stand on a stage in front of 20,000 people and do that.”

He also confronted the plaintiff’s expert witness, musicologist Alexander Stewart, accusing him of altering the evidence to fit his narrative.

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *