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Ed Sheeran Loses Appeal Against Gaye Lawsuit

One News Page Staff Monday, 7 January 2019
Ed Sheeran Loses Appeal Against Gaye Lawsuitby 👩‍💻 Alice Monroe

News has emerged this week that singer-songwriter sensation Ed Sheeran, who has sold millions of records worldwide, will continue to face a plagiarism lawsuit with regard to one of his biggest songs.

Lawsuits with regard to song similarities are nothing new – and while many are thrown out of court with no further action, plenty of complaints are upheld when it is apparent that copying of music or lyrics is evident. After all, musicians need to protect their intellectual property as much as anybody else!

Sheeran, Atlantic Records and Sony/ATV Music Publishing are currently in receipt of claims that the singer’s 2014 hit ‘Thinking Out Loud’ directly mimics Marvin Gaye’s ‘Let’s Get it On’ – and it’s been ruled by a Manhattan District Judge that claims filed on behalf of Ed Townsend, the late co-writer of Gaye’s song, should continue to be pursued. The news comes as a blow after Sheeran and his team had reportedly made a request for such claims to be dismissed, Reuters reports. The star continues to deny claims that he has copied Gaye – however, his representation has not yet been available for comment with regard to this latest turn of events.

Ed Sheeran Ordered To Face Marvin Gaye Plagiarism Lawsuit
Ed Sheeran Ordered To Face Marvin Gaye Plagiarism Lawsuit [video]

Judge Louis Stanton, Manhattan US District Judge, ruled that a jury should be appointed to ultimately decide whether or not Sheeran and his respective record company and representation should be held liable to pay Townsend’s estate and heirs. The judge’s decision was made after he declared that there were ‘substantial similarities between several of the two works’ musical elements’. The judge also advised that there may be a chance that listeners find the ‘aesthetic appeal’ between the two songs at stake to be very similar.

Those who will be appointed as jurors, according to Judge Stanton, ‘may be impressed by footage of a Sheeran performance which shows him seamlessly transitioning between [‘Thinking Out Loud’ and ‘Let’s Get it On’]’. The judge is also overseeing an additional copyright infringement case with regard to Gaye and Sheeran’s songs.

It is not the first time that Sheeran has faced accusations of copyright infringement – with two of his other massive hits, ‘Shape of You’ and ‘Photograph’, having been subject to similar complaints. There have been a spate of copyright claims launched in recent years which have been levied at hit artists – but with Sheeran being one of the biggest, plenty of people will be taking notice.


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