U.S. jury sides with Ed Sheeran in copyright trial

STORY: The British pop star said the verdict would help protect the creative process for song writers in the U.S. and globally.

"It's devastating to be accused of stealing someone else's song when we've put so much work into our livelihoods," Sheeran said outside the courthouse following the verdict.

"I want to thank the jury for making the decision that will help protect the creative process for song writers here in the United States and all around the world," Sheeran added.

The verdict came after six days of trial and less than three hours of deliberations.

The jury in Manhattan federal court determined that heirs of "Let's Get It On" songwriter Ed Townsend had not proven that Sheeran, his label Warner Music Group and his music publisher Sony Music Publishing had infringed their copyright interest in the Gaye song. Sheeran hugged his attorneys in the courtroom after the verdict was read.

Townsend's heirs sued Sheeran for copyright infringement in 2017, contending that "Thinking Out Loud" copied the "heart" of Gaye's song including its melody, harmony and rhythm. Sheeran's attorneys argued that any similarities between the songs involve basic musical "building blocks" that cannot be copyrighted.