Ed Sheeran must face a lawsuit accusing him of ripping off Marvin Gaye. In a decision made public today, Reuters reports, a judge has rejected the English singer-songwriter’s request to dismiss the lawsuit, which alleges that his 2014 song “Thinking Out Loud” lifted from Marvin Gaye’s 1973 classic “Let’s Get It On.”
US District Judge Louis Stanton found “substantial similarities between several of the two works’ musical elements,” including their basslines and percussion, and disputed whether the harmonic rhythm of “Let’s Get It On” was too common to be protected under copyright law. He also said that listeners might find the two songs to have the same “aesthetic appeal.” The case will go to trial, where a jury will decide the outcome.
Sheeran was first sued in 2016 by the estate and heirs of the late Ed Townsend, who co-wrote “Let’s Get It On” with Marvin Gaye. He is also facing a second lawsuit over the song from Structured Asset Sales LLC, which owns one-third of Townsend’s estate.