Ed Sheeran Must Go To Trial Over Accusation That He Copied Marvin Gaye’s “Let’s Get It On”
Ed Sheeran will have to face a jury trial over whether or not he stole bits of “Thinking Out Loud” from Marvin Gaye’s “Let’s Get It On.” According to Billboard, the trial will take place at a Manhattan federal courthouse at some point in the future; a date has not been set yet. Sheeran’s lawyers have been attempting to throw the case out, alleging that the lawsuit is invalid because the song elements Sheeran allegedly copied (a chord progression and the harmonic rhythm) are not unique enough to be covered by a copyright. Judge Louis Stanton said on Thursday that there was no “bright-line rule” for him to make a judgement.
Sheeran was first hit with the Marvin Gaye lawsuit in 2018 by Structured Asset Sales, which owns a one-third stake in the copyrights of Ed Townsend, who co-wrote “Let’s Get It On” with Gaye. Sheeran’s accusers argue that when these elements are combined in “Let’s Get It On,” that makes them worthy of copyright protection. “There is no bright-line rule that the combination of two unprotectable elements is insufficiently numerous to constitute an original work,” the judge said. “A work may be copyrightable even though it is entirely a compilation of unprotectable elements.”
Back in April, Sheeran (who, ICYMI, is not Beck) won his “Shape Of You” copyright infringement case in London, with Justice Anthony Zacaroli ruling that Sheeran had “neither deliberately nor subconsciously copied” Sam Chokri and Ross O’Donoghue’s 2015 song “Oh Why.”
In other Sheeran news, the singer released a Pokémon song today called “Celestial.” It’ll appear in an upcoming pair of Pokémon video games.