Music

Ed Sheeran Slapped With Lawsuit That Claims He Copied Marvin Gaye

Ed Sheeran is heading to trial following accusations that he used parts of 1972 Marvin Gaye song “Let’s Get It On” on “Thinking Out Loud.”

Ed Sheeran is facing another copyright infringement lawsuit. The English singer-songwriter will now face a jury trial after receiving claims that his 2014 hit “Shape of You” lifted bits from 1972 Marvin Gaye classic “Let’s Get It On.” The accusation stems from investment banker David Pullman and company Structured Asset Sales, which acquired a portion of the estate of “Let’s Get It On” co-writer Ed Townsend.

Seeking $100M in damages, the lawsuit claims that Sheeran and “Shape of You” co-writer Amy Wadge “copied and exploited” the Gaye song, “including but not limited to the melody, rhythms, harmonies, drums, bass line, backing chorus, tempo, syncopation and looping.” Sheeran attempted to toss the case, but on Thursday (September 29), Judge Louis Stanton decided that there was a “no bright-line rule” for disputes from Sheeran’s attorneys.

Sheeran has encountered other copyright lawsuits in the past, including 2014’s “Photograph” which was settled out of court and Tim McGraw and Faith Hill duet “The Rest of Our Life,” which was dismissed at Sheeran’s request. Kandi Burruss and Tameka “Tiny” Cottle of Xscape also received credit on “Shape of You” after fans noticed similarities between the track and TLC’s 1999 hit “No Scrubs,” which the duo co-wrote. During an 11-day trial earlier this year, artist Sami Switch accused Sheeran of using his 2015 song “Oh Why” for “Shape of You.” However, a judge ruled that Sheeran had “neither deliberately nor subconsciously copied” Switch’s song.

“Whilst we’re obviously happy with the result I feel like claims like this are way too common now and we’ve become a culture where a claim is made with the idea that settlement will be cheaper than taking it to court, even if there is no base to the claim,” Sheeran said in a video following the verdict.

Jaelani Turner-Williams

Jaelani Turner-Williams is a contributing news writer for Okayplayer with bylines at Billboard, MTV News, NYLON, Recording Academy and more. Read her mind on Twitter at @hernameisjae.

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