Ed Sheeran will face jury over whether he copied Marvin Gaye on 'Thinking Out Loud'

4 January 2019, 09:59

Ed and Marvin
Picture: PA

By Tom Eames

Let's get this lawsuit on...

A US judge has rejected Ed Sheeran's hopes for a legal case accusing him of copying parts of Marvin Gaye's 'Let's Get It On' to be dismissed.

District Judge Louis Stanton has said that a jury should decide whether Sheeran copied the classic love song, as he found "substantial similarities between several of the two works' musical elements".

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Sheeran has denied ripping off segments of the 1973 ballad for his number one hit 'Thinking Out Loud'.

The lawsuit was opened against Sheeran, Sony/ATV Music Publishing and Atlantic Records by the estate and heirs of the song's late producer Ed Townsend, who co-wrote 'Let's Get It On' with Marvin Gaye.

Ed Sheeran is being sued for allegedly copying Marvin Gaye's 'Let's Get it On' - have a listen for yourself, do they sound similar?

Posted by Smooth Radio on Friday, 29 June 2018

Judge Stanton is also looking into a separate $100m case over the same song launched last year by the company Structured Asset Sales, which also owns part of the copyright of the song.

The judge said the similarities between the two songs included their bass lines and percussion.

He added that jurors "may be impressed by footage of a Sheeran performance which shows him seamlessly transitioning" between the songs.

Sheeran's defence team has argued that 'Thinking Out Loud' is different due to its "sombre, melancholic tones, addressing long lasting romantic love" while 'Let's Get It On' is more of a "sexual anthem".

Townsend's family claimed that Sheeran and the record companies "copied the heart of 'Let's' and repeated it continuously throughout 'Thinking'".

In 2017, Ed Sheeran also settled a $20m copyright infringement claim against him over his hit song 'Photograph'. Songwriters Thomas Leonard and Martin Harrington sued the singer, claiming his song was too similar to their song 'Amazing', released by Matt Cardle.

Later that year, the songwriting team behind TLC's 1999 song 'No Scrubs' were given credits on Ed Sheeran's 'Shape of You', after critics and fans made comparisons between the songs online.