Ed Sheeran has emerged victorious in a second copyright infringement lawsuit over his hit song “Thinking Out Loud.” The latest case, filed by Structured Asset Sales LLC, accused Sheeran of copying Marvin Gaye’s 1973 hit “Let’s Get It On.” However, the judge dismissed the lawsuit before it went to trial.
Structured Asset Sales LLC, which owns part of the rights to Ed Townsend’s share of the Gaye song, claimed similarities between the two tracks. But Judge Louis Stanton ruled that the chord progression and harmonic rhythm in “Let’s Get It On” were so common that protecting their combination would create a monopoly over basic musical elements. Stanton had initially ruled that the case should go to a jury, but he changed his decision after the quick verdict in the previous trial.
Despite this victory, Sheeran still faces another lawsuit from Structured Asset Sales. In the upcoming case, the company seeks to compare the recordings of “Thinking Out Loud” and “Let’s Get It On” instead of focusing solely on the compositions. Structured Asset Sales’ owner, investment banker David Pullman, believes that introducing the sound recordings as evidence will sway the jury in their favor.
In a post-trial interview, Sheeran’s defense attorney expressed satisfaction with the outcome. Sheeran felt vindicated not only for himself but for all songwriters. Throughout the trial, he received immense support from fellow songwriters, musicology professors, and music consumers. He believed it was crucial to take a stand and go to trial rather than quietly settle, as he felt the case would have a significant impact on the future of songwriting.
Sheeran’s victory in the second lawsuit reinforces the idea that common musical elements cannot be monopolized through copyright claims. The ongoing legal battle highlights the importance of defending artistic integrity and promoting fair use within the music industry. It also showcases the challenges faced by artists when their work is scrutinized for potential similarities.
As the lawsuit continues, Sheeran remains resilient and determined to protect his artistic vision. This case serves as a reminder that the boundaries of creativity and originality can be complex and subjective. Ultimately, it is up to the courts to interpret and establish the legal precedents that shape the future of the music industry.