Jury rules Ed Sheeran acquitted in Marvin Gaye copyright case. Ed Sheeran, an English singer-songwriter, was accused of stealing music chords from Marvin Gaye’s legendary song “Let’s Get It On” and using them in his successful song “Thinking Out Loud,” was released in 2014. On Thursday, a jury decided that Ed Sheeran was not guilty in the case and found that he was acquitted.
After the judge finished reading the verdict, Sheeran jumped up and hugged his teammates before mumbling “thank you” to the jury.
Sheeran addressed the media outside the courthouse but did not answer any questions. The singer and songwriter of the song “Shape of You” expressed his contentment at “not having to retire from [his] day job” after previously stating that he would give up writing music in the event that he was found guilty in the trial.
In the past, while he was testifying in court, he stated, “If that happens, I’m done — I’m stopping.”
Sheeran is “grateful the jury saw through the attempts” to demonstrate “misleading comparisons” made by the plaintiff’s experts between the two songs, finding “similarities where none exist.” Sheeran is “grateful the jury saw through the attempts” to show “misleading comparisons” between the two songs.
“It’s devastating to be accused of stealing someone else’s song,” Sheeran said, adding that “We need songwriters and the writing community to come together to bring back common sense” and use “trusted individuals” as music experts so that the “creative process can carry on.”
The famous singer blasted the case throughout the trial, calling it “frustrating” and “insulting” because he “works hard” to write his songs. The judgment marks the culmination of a problem in which the musician testified against the lawsuit. Thursday’s deliberations lasted for a total of two hours and thirty minutes before the jury reached its verdict.
The family of singer-songwriter Ed Townsend, who collaborated with Gaye on the song, filed the case alleging that Gaye infringed on their copyright. According to reports, the lawsuit claimed damages of one hundred million dollars.
While on the witness stand during the trial, Sheeran insisted that he had written the song on his own. He engaged in some verbal jousting with the attorney for the plaintiff, Keisha Rice, on the topic of “independent creation.”
The heirs of Townsend were represented by attorney Ben Crump, who explained that Sheeran had blended the songs at some time during a performance. He compared the combination of the pieces to “a confession.”
In response to the allegation that he had copied songs, Sheeran stated, “I’d be an idiot to stand on a stage in front of 20,000 people and do that.”
Sheeran was particularly critical of the plaintiff’s music expert during the hearing, alleging that the witness provided a “horrible depiction” of the song “Thinking Out Loud.”
Sheeran stated, about the song that was in dispute, “I know he’s wrong because I wrote it myself.” Sheeran’s legal team has said that their client’s piece uses nothing more than the fundamental components of pop music.
“The two songs share versions of a similar and unprotected chord progression that was freely available to all songwriters,” the attorneys claimed in a court filing. “The chord progression was freely available to all songwriters.”