Washington [US], October 1 (ANI): Singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran will now face a jury trial in regards to accusations that he lifted bits of his 2014 song 'Thinking Out Loud' from Marvin Gaye's 1972 classic 'Let's Get It On.'
According to Billboard, the action was taken as a result of a federal judge rejecting the singer-songwriter's bid to dismiss the lawsuit, which has been pending since 2018. The plaintiffs in the 'Thinking Out Loud' copyright lawsuit, who are also partial owners of the Marvin Gaye song, are asking for $100 million in damages from the British musician, but his lawyers are fighting the claim, calling the allegedly stolen song fragments "commonplace" and thus unjustified as a basis for a copyright infringement claim.
Judge Louis Stanton, who concluded on Thursday that there was "no bright-line rule" for the attorneys' suggested dispute, ordered Sheeran to testify before a Manhattan federal jury.
According to Variety, it was alleged in the first case that Sheeran had copied a chord progression and the harmonic beat from Gaye's song. In light of Sheeran's counsel, Sheeran's accusers have suddenly changed their allegations and concur that the song's parts are "commonplace and unprotectable." However, they contend that their combination is what distinguishes them as being uniquely Gaye's, and as a result, why copyright law protects them.
Sheeran has faced other similar challenges in the past, including those involving "Photograph" (which was settled out of court), "The Rest of Our Life," (which was dismissed at Sheeran's request), and most recently, a case asserting that he had copied "Shape of You," which Sheeran ultimately won. The artist said in a video statement shortly after the verdict that these lawsuits were "very harmful to the songwriting profession."
He continued, "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."
Several years ago, Gaye's music was the subject of another widely publicised legal battle between his heirs and Robin Thicke, Pharrell Williams, and others over the song "Blurred Lines," which resulted in a $5.3 million settlement for the family. However, this lawsuit was filed by a business named Structured Asset Sales, which, through "Let's Get It On" co-writer Ed Townsend, owns one-third of the shares of the song. (ANI)