US District Judge Louis Stanton has ruled that a jury will decide if Ed Sheeran’s 2014 hit single Thinking Out Loud infringed the copyright of Marvin Gaye’s 1973 classic Let’s Get It On.
Sheeran is being sued by the estate of the late Ed Townsend, the producer who co-wrote Let’s Get It On with Marvin Gaye.
Sheeran’s attempt to have the lawsuit dismissed was rejected by Judge Stanton, who announced on Thursday (January 3) that the case would be decided by a US jury.
Judge Stanton cited “substantial similarities” between musical parts of Sheeran’s 2014 single, which won the 2015 Grammy for Song Of The Year, and Gaye’s Let’s Get It On, including the respective tracks’ percussion and bass lines.
Sony/ATV Music Publishing and Sheeran’s label Atlantic Records are also named as defendants.
Thinking Out Loud was co-written by Ed Sheeran collaborator Amy Wadge.
Sheeran has denied the alleged copyright infringement.
The same judge is also presiding over another lawsuit brought against Sheeran in June 2018 for the same song.
In that case, a company called Structured Asset Sales, which owns a third of the Ed Townsend estate, is suing for $100 million.
In December 2018 Marvin Gaye’s family were awarded almost $5m as another plagiarism case involving a Marvin Gaye track came to an end after five years.
Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams were accused of copyright infringement by the Gaye estate, which alleged that their 2013 hit Blurred Lines plagiarised Marvin Gaye’s 1977 song, Got to Give It Up.Music Business Worldwide