Ed Sheeran Wins Copyright Lawsuit “I Am Not And Will Never Allow Myself To Be A Piggy Bank..."
By The Big Magazine Staff
On Thursday, Ed Sheeran won his copyright case concerning the alleged taking of parts of Marvin Gaye’s “Let’s Get It On” to make his own tune “Thinking Out Loud.” Sheeran mouthed the words to jurors: “Thank you.”
The singer spoke to reporters outside the courthouse, expressing:
“I am obviously very happy with the outcome of this case, and it looks like I’m not going to have 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,” the singer said, reading from a prepared statement.
“I am just a guy with a guitar who loves writing music for people to enjoy,” he said. “I am not and will never allow myself to be a piggy bank for anyone to shake.”
In the civil trial by the heirs of Ed Townsend, Gaye’s co-writer on the 1973 soul classic. The family has accused the English star of violating their copyright, claiming his 2014 hit bore “striking similarities” and “overt common elements” to the famed Gaye track.
After the court's determination, Griffin (Townsend heirs) stated that her copyright lawsuit was not motivated by personal gain, but was instead a way of fulfilling a promise made to her father to protect his intellectual property. The lawsuit was filed in 2017 in the Manhattan federal courtroom of 95-year-old Judge Louis L. Stanton. Gaye’s estate is not involved in the case
After two weeks in court, the ruling came down and Sheeran displayed his ire with the proceedings which he felt were a threat to any musician who writes their own songs.
Sheeran's lawyers stood up for him in court against the suit from Townsend's heirs, claiming that "Thinking Out Loud" was too much like "Let's Get It On" to not be infringing its copyright.
It was not the first court victory for a singer whose musical style has made him a target for copyright lawsuits. A year ago, Sheeran won a U.K. copyright battle over his 2017 hit “Shape of You.”
Sheeran’s label, Atlantic Records, and Sony/ATV Music Publishing were also named as defendants in the “Thinking Out Loud” lawsuit, but the focus of the trial was Sheeran.
Marvin Gaye was killed in 1984 at age 44, shot by his father as he tried to intervene in a fight between his parents.
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