Ed Sheeran to stop playing music if found guilty of copying Marvin Gaye
Ed Sheeran has voiced his intention to stop making music if his ongoing copyright lawsuit does not go in his favor.
The singer was accused of copying parts of the film Marvin Gaye“Let’s Get It On” to make his hit Thinking Out Loud, which he vehemently denied, calling it “offensive”.
During the ongoing trial, it was pointed out that there are many similarities in the melody and chords of both songs. However, Sheeran claimed that this did not confirm that he was guilty of the charges.
Read on to learn more.
“If that happens, I’m done”
Sheeran is currently embroiled in a copyright lawsuit brought against him by the family of Marvin Gaye’s songwriting collaborator Ed Townsend. The suit claims the “Shape of You” singer copied the late icon’s “Let’s Get It On” for his hit “Thinking Out Loud.”
Although Sheeran has since vehemently denied the allegations, he shared his stance in Manhattan federal court on Monday that he plans to hang up his musical boots if the jury returns a guilty verdict.
He also called the allegations of infringement of Gaye and co-writer Ed Townsend’s classic “insulting” to his efforts and dedication to his music career.
“If that happens, I’m done; I’m quitting,” Sheeran said on the stand about his feelings about the ongoing trial, per se Daily Mail. “I find it very 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
During Monday’s hearing, Sheeran also rebutted an exhibit presented by lawyers to Townsend’s heirs the previous week.
The exhibit in question was a video of Sheeran seamlessly transitioning between the two songs in question during a performance, which lawyers say proved he did what he’s accused of.
In his defense, Sheeran pointed out during cross-examination that he often combined “Thinking Out Loud” with Van Morrison’s “Crazy in Love” and Dolly Parton’s “I Will Always Love You.”
He shared that “a lot of the songs have similar chords,” which made it easy for him to mix them up during many of his concerts, but that doesn’t mean he ripped any of them off.
He added: “If I had done what you’re accusing me of doing, I’d be quite the idiot to stand on a stage in front of 20,000 people and do that.”
Ed Sheeran slams plaintiff’s expert witness
Another exhibit that Sheeran claimed was false was that of the plaintiff’s expert witness, musicologist Alexander Stewart.
Stewart had argued the previous week that “Thinking Out Loud” and “Let’s Get It On” had the same harmonic rhythm, seemingly pointing out melodic similarities in parts of the songs.
But Sheeran denied his claim, saying Stewart made some changes to the chords and melody of “Thinking Out Loud” when he played it in court, making it sound like Gaye’s song. He then questioned Stewart’s expertise for allegedly trying to shape things to suit his own narrative.
“To be honest, what he’s doing here is a crime,” Sheeran said. “I don’t know why they let him be an expert.”
The plaintiff is reportedly seeking $100 million in damages, which will be determined in a second case if a jury finds Sheeran guilty.
Ed Sheeran wins copyright battle for Shape of You
Meanwhile, it is still uncertain who will come out on top in the lawsuit, as both sides have provisions for winning copyright lawsuits.
Last year, Sheeran won a UK copyright battle that claimed he copied parts of Sami Chokri’s 2015 track ‘Oh Why’ for his 2017 hit ‘Shape of You’. CBC.
After winning the lawsuit, the British pop star expressed her unhappiness with “the culture of frivolous lawsuits designed to extract money from artists who are trying to avoid the costs of litigation.”
Meanwhile, in 2015, Gaye’s family won a lawsuit against Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams, claiming they ripped off the icon’s “Got to Give It Up” for their hit “Blurred Lines.”
The family was awarded approximately $7.4 million in damages ABC News.