Ed Sheeran Wins Copyright Lawsuit Over Marvin Gaye’s “Let’s Get It On

British singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran has won a copyright lawsuit in New York City after a civil jury found him not liable for copying Marvin Gaye’s “Let’s Get It On” in his hit song “Thinking Out Loud.” The lawsuit had been brought by the heirs of Ed Townsend, who co-wrote “Let’s Get It On” with Gaye.[0] Sheeran had attended the eight-day trial, even performing snippets of various songs for jurors to demonstrate that he was more inspired by Van Morrison than Gaye’s R&B classic.[1] Speaking outside the court after winning the case, Sheeran said: “I’m just a guy with a guitar who loves writing music for people to enjoy.[1] I am not, and will never allow myself to be, a piggybank for anyone to shake.”

This is not the first time Sheeran has faced such allegations.[1] In 2017, a London court ruled in his favour in a similar case involving his song “Shape of You.” Gaye’s family has also previously sued other artists, including Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams, for copyright infringement, winning a $5.3m judgment in 2015 for their use of Gaye’s “Got to Give It Up” in their hit “Blurred Lines.[2]

0. “After win, Ed Sheeran slams ‘baseless' and ‘dangerous' copyright case” GMA, 4 May. 2023, https://www.goodmorningamerica.com/news/story/ed-sheeran-speaks-outs-after-winning-thinking-loud-99082231

1. “Ed Sheeran Wins Marvin Gaye Copyright Trial” The Daily Beast, 4 May. 2023, https://www.thedailybeast.com/ed-sheeran-wins-his-marvin-gaye-copyright-battle

2. “Jury finds Ed Sheeran did not infringe on the copyright of ‘Let's Get It On'” CNN, 4 May. 2023, https://www.cnn.com/2023/05/04/media/ed-sheeran-verdict/index.html

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