Ed Sheeran Wins Copyright Infringement Lawsuit
Ed Sheeran, the popular British pop star, has recently won a closely-watched lawsuit in the United States, where he was accused of plagiarising Marvin Gaye’s Let’s Get It On when he wrote his mega-hit Thinking Out Loud. The ruling has been called a win for creative freedom, and Sheeran has expressed his joy and relief at being vindicated.
The lawsuit was filed by heirs of Gaye co-writer Ed Townsend, who sued Sheeran for copyright infringement in 2017, claiming that Thinking Out Loud copied the “heart” of Gaye’s song including its melody, harmony, and rhythm. The heirs sought a share of the profits from Sheeran’s hit, but the jury ruled that Sheeran had “independently” created the song.
Outside court, Sheeran told reporters that it had been “devastating to be accused of stealing someone else’s song”, and he was “very happy” with the outcome. “If the jury had decided this matter the other way, we might as well say goodbye to the creative freedom of songwriters,” Sheeran said.
Industry insiders were closely following the civil lawsuit amid concerns it could open the door to future litigation and hamper songwriters’ creativity. It was Sheeran’s second copyright trial in a year. In April 2022, he won a case in London over his song Shape Of You, saying the lawsuit was emblematic of copyright litigation going too far.
There have been a handful of landmark music copyright cases in recent years, including the 2015 case involving members of Gaye’s family successfully suing the performers Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams over similarities between their song Blurred Lines and Gaye’s Got to Give it Up. The outcome surprised many in the industry, including legal experts, who considered many of the musical components cited as foundational and existing largely in the public domain.
In this month’s case, Sheeran testified in court, guitar in hand, playing demos for the court to prove the 1-3-4-5 chord progression at issue was a common “building block” of pop music and could not be owned. He said that his friend and collaborator Amy Wadge first started strumming the chords for the song during a visit to his home in England and that they collaborated on the lyrics.
A musicologist for the defense told the court the four-chord sequence had been used in a number of songs before Gaye’s hit came out in 1973. These chords “are a songwriter’s ‘alphabet’, our tool kit,” Sheeran said on Thursday. “No one owns them, or the way they are played, in the same way, nobody owns the color blue.”
Joe Bennett, a forensic musicologist at the prestigious Berklee College of Music, told the AFP news agency he was “delighted” that “sanity prevailed” in the case. “In music copyright litigation, cases involving one or two bars of music, the plaintiff’s allegation of plagiarism is almost always wrong,” he said. “Coincidental similarity happens all the time, particularly with chords and short melodic fragments.”
The verdict is expected to discourage other spurious complaints, but Sheeran still faces two similar lawsuits in New York, brought by investment banker David Pullman’s Structured Asset Sales, which also owns copyright interests in the Gaye song. Pullman said after the verdict that he and his lawyers had learned from the trial. “We’ll know what to expect,” Pullman said.
In other Ed Sheeran news, the pop star has recently released a new single called Bad Habits, which has been well-received by fans and critics alike.
Ed Sheeran Wife:
Ed Sheeran’s wife is Cherry Seaborn, a former hockey player who met Sheeran when they were both attending Thomas Mills High School in Framlingham, Suffolk. They reconnected later in life and began dating in 2015. They got engaged in 2017 and tied the knot in a private ceremony in 2018. Sheeran has said that Seaborn was the inspiration for his song “Perfect.”
Ed Sheeran Bad Habits:
“Bad Habits” is a single released by Ed Sheeran in 2021. The song was written by Sheeran and a team of other songwriters, including Johnny McDaid, who has worked with Sheeran on several of his previous hits. The song has been described as an upbeat, dance-pop track, with lyrics that address the theme of temptation and the struggle to overcome bad habits.
Ed Sheeran Net Worth:
As of 2021, Ed Sheeran’s net worth is estimated to be around $200 million. Sheeran has earned his fortune through his successful music career, which has included multiple chart-topping albums and hit singles. He has also earned money through touring and merchandise sales, as well as through his investments in various business ventures.
Ed Sheeran Thinking Out Loud:
“Thinking Out Loud” is a song by Ed Sheeran that was released in 2014. The song was written by Sheeran and Amy Wadge and was produced by Jake Gosling. It was a massive commercial success, reaching the top of the charts in multiple countries and earning Sheeran a Grammy Award for Best Pop Solo Performance. The song has been described as a romantic ballad, with lyrics that express a deep and enduring love.
Ed Sheeran Tour 2023:
As of now, Ed Sheeran has not announced any official plans for a tour in 2023. However, given his past success and popularity, it is likely that he will continue to tour in the future. Sheeran has been known for his high-energy live shows, which feature him performing solo with just his guitar and a loop pedal. He has also been known to incorporate elements of pop, rock, and hip-hop into his live performances.
Ed Sheeran Game of Thrones:
Ed Sheeran made a cameo appearance in a 2017 episode of the hit HBO series Game of Thrones. Sheeran played a soldier in the Lannister army who is seen singing a song around a campfire. The appearance sparked controversy among some fans, who felt that it was a distraction from the show’s main storyline. However, others defended Sheeran’s appearance, arguing that it was a fun nod to one of the show’s biggest fans.