Ed Sheeran To Stand Trial on Marvin Gaye Copyright Claim

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An federal judge from Manhattan has decided that the copyright infringement case brought by Ed Sheeran in connection with his hit song “Thinking Out Loud” may go to a jury trial in the event that Sheeran’s efforts to dismiss the case.

In the year 2018, Sheeran was sued by Structured Asset Sales, a firm that holds a one-third share in the property belonging to Ed Townsend, who co-wrote the hit song “Let’s Get It On” along with Marvin Gaye. Structured Assets asserted that Sheeran copied copyrighted parts of “Let’s Get It On” when he composed “Thinking Out Loud.” In the response, Sheeran argued that the elements in the song that he had been accused of copying including the chord progression and the rhythm of the chords weren’t unique enough to be protected by copyright which meant that he could not have violated the copyright of the song. Structured Asset Sales asserted that the combination of these elements is enough to be protected by copyright.

The judge Louis Stanton did not decide on this matter, but he wrote the following “there is no bright-line rule that the combination of two unprotected elements is sufficiently numerous to constitute a copyrighted work.” He also wrote the following “a work may be copyrightable even though it is entirely a compilation of unprotectable elements.” The judge ruled that he was unable decide the issue in terms of law the judge Stanton declined to dismiss the claim, and instead ruled that the case had be argued before jurors.


This ruling is a major victory for the accusers of Sheeran. It’s not clear the way juries decide in the outcome of these cases In recent times, juries handed out massive damages to plaintiffs with similar circumstances. In March of 2015, a jury gave $7.4 millions to the estate of Marvin Gaye, finding that Robin Thicke had infringed the Marvin Gaye song “Got To Give It Up” in his hit song “Blurred Lines.”

Sheeran is involved with this kind of controversy before. In April He was the subject of a lawsuit in the UK where He was accused of copying an earlier song when he composed “Shape of You.”

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