US Jury To Decide If Ed Sheeran Copied Marvin Gaye's "Let's Get It On"
Ed Sheeran may follow the same fate as Pharrell and Robin Thicke, who had to pay the family of Marvin Gaye close to $5 million after a jury ruled the pair copied Gaye’s song “Got To Give It Up.”
On Thursday, U.S. District Judge Louis Stanton said a jury should decide if Sheeran is liable to the Marvin Gaye estate and heirs of the late producer Ed Townsend, who co-wrote Let’s Get It On with Gaye. Also being sued alongside Sheeran is Sony/ATV Music Publishing and Atlantic Records.
It was Townsend who first filed an infringement lawsuit in federal court against Sheeran about the song two years ago.
In a report from BBC, Judge Stanton said the songs had similar percussion and basslines and listeners might consider the song’s “aesthetic appeal” to be similar.
However, Sheeran’s attorneys argued that “Thinking Out Loud” differs from “Let’s Get It On” because it has “sombre, melancholic tones, addressing long-lasting romantic love,” while referring to the Gaye classic as a “sexual anthem.”
As BBC also notes, Sheeran’s current lawsuit with the laye singer’s estate isn’t his first time being accused of copying the work of other artists.
In 2017, the team behind TLC‘s hit song “No Scrubs” were given writing credits on Sheeran’s song “Shape Of You” after fans and critics found similarities between the two songs.
In December last year, Pharrell Williams and Robin Thicke were ordered to pay Gaye’s family $5 million. The pair was sued for copyright infringement because their song “Blurred Lines” was similar to the singer’s hit song “Got To Give It Up.”