Ed Sheeran won’t be quitting music any time soon, as his copyright lawsuit has reached its verdict Thursday (May 4). Per CNN, the singer-songwriter was not found liable for copying Marvin Gaye’s hit, “Let’s Get It On.”
Sheeran was accused by Structured Asset Sales. That company purchased a third of the shares of Gaye’s song from the family of Ed Townsend in 2018. Townsend co-wrote “Let’s Get It On” with Marvin Gaye. The suit alleged that Sheeran’s hit 2014 song, “Thinking Out Loud,” took elements directly from the 1973 song. The Manhattan jury determined that Sheeran did not wrongfully copy compositional elements or melodies from the song.
At one point during the course of the trial, Sheeran was asked what he would do if the court found “Thinking Out Loud” to be too similar to “Let’s Get It On.” He answered, “If that happens, I’m done. I’m stopping. I find it to be really insulting. I work really hard to be where I’m at.”
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Sheeran’s legal team and co-writer of the song had argued that the melodies are different. They said that the elements used in both songs are common in pop music. Amy Wadge, Sheeran’s co-writer for “Thinking Out Loud,” explained to jurors that the song’s tune sounded more like Van Morrison’s “Have I Told You Lately,” as it has the same chords in a different key. She also chimed in on the accusations, saying, “It was pretty devastating and pretty frightening because it’s something we did not do.”
The Grammy-winner said the creation of “Thinking Out Loud” was a “very collaborative” process between him and co-writer Wadge. He recalled being inspired to create the song after hearing Wadge “mumbling” the chords as he got ready to go to dinner and said he knew they needed to write a song to them. As for the lyrics, he said they were inspired by their personal struggles as Sheeran’s grandmother had been diagnosed with cancer, his “grandad” had died, and Wedge was going through a family illness.