Plagiarism Lawsuit Against Ed Sheeran Will Go To Trial
Ed Sheeran’s bid to get a plagiarism lawsuit thrown out has failed.
The singer was sued in 2016 by the estate of Ed Townsend Jr., co-writer of the 1973 Marvin Gaye song “Let’s Get It On.” It alleged that Sheeran’s 2014 hit “Thinking Out Loud” copies many of the elements of “Let’s Get It On.”
In a ruling dated Jan. 2, U.S. District Judge Louis Stanton wrote that he heard enough similarities between the songs for him to reject Sheeran’s request to have the lawsuit dismissed.
“Although the two compositions are not identical, an average lay observer could conclude that parts of TOL were appropriated from LGO," Stanton wrote.
The lawsuit claims “the Defendants copied the ‘heart’ of Let’s and repeated it continually throughout Thinking. . . . The melodic, harmonic, and rhythmic compositions of Thinking are substantially and/or strikingly similar to the drum composition of Let’s.”
It noted that in a 2014 concert in Zurich, Sheeran performed a mash-up of the two songs, which only highlighted their similarities.
Sheeran has denied any wrongdoing.
Last April, Sheeran settled a copyright infringement lawsuit from songwriters Thomas Leonard and Martin Harrington, who alleged that his 2014 hit “Photograph” was a “note-for-note copying” of their 2009 song “Amazing.”
Part of the confidential settlement included giving songwriter credits to Leonard and Harrington on “Photograph.”
In January, songwriters Sean Carey and Beau Golden filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against Sheeran that claims the melody of “The Rest Of Our Life” – which Sheeran wrote for country stars Tim McGraw and Faith Hill – is ripped from their song “When I Found You.”
Sheeran’s lawyers countered in April that his song is “an originally and independently created musical composition.