The Grammy-winning British singer must face a jury trial over whether he stole key pieces of his hit ‘Thinking Out Loud’ from the Prince of Motown’s iconic “Let’s Get It On”.
AceShowbiz –Ed Sheeran is heading to court soon. The “Perfect” hitmaker must face a jury trial over whether he stole key pieces of his 2014 hit “Thinking Out Loud” from Marvin Gaye‘s iconic “Let’s Get It On”.
On Friday, September 29, Federal Judge Louis Stanton ordered the 31-year-old British crooner to go to trial, rejecting the Grammy-winning artist’s efforts to toss out the long-running copyright case. Judge Louis ruled there was “no bright-line rule” for deciding that and that the musician must argue his case in front of a jury on trial at a Manhattan federal courthouse at some point in the future. A date has not yet been set.
“There is no bright-line rule that the combination of two unprotectable elements is insufficiently numerous to constitute an original work,” Judge Louis wrote. “A work may be copyrightable even though it is entirely a compilation of unprotectable elements.”
The copyright infringement lawsuit was filed in 2018 not by Marvin’s estate, but by Structured Asset Sales, an entity that owns part of the copyrights of “Let’s Get It On” co-writer Ed Townsend.
Ed’s legal team argued that the lawsuit was invalid because the combination of simple elements he allegedly stole was not unique enough to be covered by a copyright in the first place. The defense also pointed to another song, The Temptations‘ “Since I Lost My Baby”, as proof that a single artist couldn’t lay claim to minute musical building blocks.
Both Ed and Marvin’s music have been involved in high-profile copyright lawsuits in the past. Artist Sami Switch and producer Ross O’Donoghue accused Ed of copying their song “Oh Why” in his 2017 hit “Shape of You”. In April, Ed won the case, noting that “it’s really damaging to the songwriting industry.”
In the meantime, Marvin’s heirs famously sued Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams‘ “Blurred Lines” as a rip of “Got to Give It Up”. Marvin’s estate ended up victorious in that suit, receiving more than $5 million in damages as well as a songwriting credit.
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