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Ed Sheeran’s Copyright Trial in US Begins over Marvin Gaye’s Hit Song

| How Africa News


Ed Sheeran, the Grammy-winning English musician, is facing a copyright infringement trial in the United States.

According to the Daily Mail UK, the heirs of Ed Townsend, co-writer of ‘Let’s Get It On,’ a 1973 song by the late Marvin Gaye, are suing the British artist.

The case, originally filed in 2017, claimed “striking similarities” and “overt common elements” between Sheeran’s ‘Thinking Out Loud’ and the 1973 soul song.

The 32-year-old British pop sensation is scheduled to testify in federal court in Manhattan on Monday.

Louis Stanton, a 95-year-old judge, will preside over the trial, which is expected to take a week.

‘Thinking Out Loud’, written by Sheeran and Amy Wadge, the English songwriter, was released in 2014 and won a Grammy for song of the year.

On the other hand, Marvin Gaye’s ‘Let’s Get It On’ reached number 1 on the Billboard Pop Singles in September 1973.

Listen to Gaye’s ‘Let’s Get It On’ below:


Both songs’ words and moods are understood to be “legally insignificant.”

The court will only assess the raw melodic, harmonic, and rhythmic elements that comprised the 1973 song’s creation, as evidenced on sheet music submitted with the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

Sheeran’s lawyers stated in court that “the two songs share versions of a similar and unprotectable chord progression that was freely available to all songwriters.”

Listen to Sheeran’s ‘Thinking Out Loud’ below:



The complaint names Atlantic Records, Sheeran’s label, and Sony/ATV Music Publishing as defendants. Wadge, Sheeran’s co-writer, was not mentioned.

Ed Townsend, a singer, composer, and lawyer, died in 2003, whereas Marvin Gaye, a Motown legend, was shot by his father in 1984 when he was 44 years old.

His daughter, Kathryn Townsend-Griffin, is the plaintiff in the lawsuit against Sheeran.

“This must stop,” said Griffin-Townsend in March.

“We have enough chaos going on in the world today, besides having to stand here and worry about other people stealing other people’s belongings.”

This will not be the first time the megastar has found himself in this kind of legal battle.

In March 2022, Sheeran won another copyright suit over the song, ‘Shape of You.’


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