Jury sides with Ed Sheeran in U.S. copyright trial
STORY: "I'm obviously very happy with the outcome of the case and it looks like I'm not having to retire from my day job after all. But at the same time, I'm unbelievably frustrated that baseless claims like this are allowed to go to court at all.”
British pop star Ed Sheeran expressed frustration Thursday even after a jury in Manhattan federal court determined that Sheeran did not unlawfully copy from Marvin Gaye’s classic song "Let’s Get it On."
Sheeran told reporters the four chords in the song that were the focus of the case are “common building blocks” for musicians. And everyone should be able to use them to create new music.
"No one owns them. All the way they are played in the same way that nobody owns the color blue." (flash)
“It's devastating to be accused of stealing someone else's song when we've put so much work into our livelihoods.”
Heirs of “Let’s Get It On” songwriter Ed Townsend had sued Sheeran for copyright infringement in 2017. They argued that Sheeran’s song "Thinking Out Loud" copied the melody, harmony and rhythm of Gaye’s Billboard Chart hit - basically the "heart" of the song.
Sheeran, on the witness stand, had played the chord progression to "Thinking Out Loud" and sang the opening words.
He also testified that his friend Amy Wadge first started strumming the chords for the song during a visit to his home in England, and that they collaborated on the lyrics.
The not guilty verdict came after six days of trial and less than three hours of deliberations.
"I'm just a guy with a guitar who loves writing music for people to enjoy. I am not and will never allow myself to be a piggy bank for anyone to shake.”
But two similar lawsuits are still pending against Sheeran in Manhattan involving copyright interests in Marvin Gaye’s song.