Ed Sheeran’s Second Copyright Lawsuit Dismissed After Judge Decides Against Jury Trial – According to reports, U.S. District Judge Louis Stanton has ruled that the supposedly borrowed elements from “Let’s Get It On” in Ed Sheeran’s song “Thinking Out Loud” were deemed too commonplace to be eligible for copyright protection. As a result, Ed Sheeran has been cleared of another copyright lawsuit concerning his 2014 single “Thinking Out Loud.”
According to Reuters’ report on Tuesday, a second copyright case against the British singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran, filed by Structured Asset Sales LLC, has been dismissed in Manhattan federal court. The lawsuit claimed similarities between Sheeran’s “Thinking Out Loud” and Marvin Gaye’s timeless hit “Let’s Get It On.”
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U.S. District Judge Louis Stanton, who also presided over the previous jury trial regarding alleged copyright infringement of Gaye’s 1973 song, ruled that the elements allegedly borrowed from “Let’s Get It On” in “Thinking Out Loud” were too common to be protected under copyright law. This ruling marks another victory for Sheeran, 32, in the ongoing legal battle.
Currently, there is a third lawsuit filed by Structured Asset Sales, who acquired a third of the shares of the song from the family of Ed Townsend, the co-writer of “Let’s Get It On,” in 2018. This lawsuit pertains to the rights of Marvin Gaye’s recording and is still pending. According to Reuters, if this case proceeds to trial, the jurors will be presented with Gaye’s recording instead of the AI audio version of the song’s sheet music, which was used as evidence in the previous trial.
In the recently concluded lawsuit, which Sheeran won earlier this month, a jury of seven members deliberated for approximately three hours in a New York City courtroom. After a trial that lasted over a week, the jurors reached a unanimous verdict in favor of Sheeran. “I feel like the truth was heard and the truth was believed,” the Grammy winner told news outlet in the courthouse following the decision. “It’s nice that we can both move on with our lives now — it’s sad that it had to come to this.”
Following the announcement of the verdict, the musician expressed his joy by embracing his legal team and Amy Wadge, his co-writer. He then approached Kathryn Griffin Townsend, the plaintiff and daughter of the “Let’s Get It On” co-writer. The two exchanged smiles, engaged in conversation, and shared hugs. As Sheeran left the courtroom, he lovingly embraced and kissed his wife, Cherry Seaborn, who was present throughout the proceedings.
During the trial, there was a moment when Sheeran was asked about his response if the court deemed “Thinking Out Loud” to be too similar to “Let’s Get It On.” Sheeran replied, “If that happens, I’m done, I’m stopping.” In an interview following the verdict, Wadge said she felt similarly. “Truthfully, I know Ed had said what he said about quitting music.”
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“I had said it myself, just how awful it was to feel that we all want to create music that touches the world and that the risk of that is if I was to create of pieces of work that maybe did the same as ‘Thinking Out Loud,’ I could expect this to happen again,” she said at the time. After the trial’s conclusion, she spoke about feeling “relieved,” “very emotional” and ready to move on with her career: “You’re told ‘Just tell the truth,’ and that’s what we did, and we’ve got the conclusion that we could have only hoped for.”