Ed Sheeran ordered to stand trial in the US over claims he copied song

Gabriella Ferlita

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Ed Sheeran ordered to stand trial in the US over claims he copied song

Featured Image Credit: PA Images / Zoonar GmbH / Alamy Stock Photo

Ed Sheeran has been ordered to stand trial in the US over claims he copied a song.

The English singer-songwriter has become embroiled in a court case after US District Judge Louis Stanton denied Sheeran’s attempt to dismiss the copyright infringement lawsuit by claimant Structured Asset Sales LLC.

The plaintiff, who owns a portion of songwriter Ed Townsend’s estate, is taking Sheeran to court for one of three lawsuits which allege that the singer lifted 'Thinking Out Loud' from Marvin Gaye’s 'Let’s Get It On'.

Townsend, who died in 2003, co-wrote the 1973 classic, and jurors must now decide whether the song is substantially similar to Sheeran’s 2014 release - which was the 31-year-old’s highest-charting single until the release of 'Shape of You' in 2017.

Ed Sheeran has been ordered to stand on trial in the US over claims he copied a song. Credit: Abaca Press / Alamy Stock Photo
Ed Sheeran has been ordered to stand on trial in the US over claims he copied a song. Credit: Abaca Press / Alamy Stock Photo

Judge Stanton made the ruling after music experts on both ends of the dispute could not decide whether or not Sheeran’s track imitates that of Townsend and Gaye’s song.

He said of the findings: “Although the two musical compositions are not identical, a jury could find that the overlap between the songs' combination of chord progression and harmonic rhythm is very close.”

The judge also ruled that a jury panel must determine whether the plaintiff can include concert ticket revenue in the damages they are seeking, after rejecting the claim from Sheeran’s team that sales were not associated with the alleged infringement of the song.

Sheeran’s 'X' tour, which took place between the years of 2014 and 2015, accumulated $150 million (£135 million) as per Pollstar, and was performed in support of his second studio release, titled X, in which 'Thinking Out Loud' appears as track 11. 

The plaintiff alleges that the singer lifted ‘Thinking Out Loud’ from Marvin Gaye’s ‘Let’s Get It On’. Credit: Vinyls / Alamy Stock Photo
The plaintiff alleges that the singer lifted ‘Thinking Out Loud’ from Marvin Gaye’s ‘Let’s Get It On’. Credit: Vinyls / Alamy Stock Photo

An attorney for Structured Asset Sales, Hillel Parness, told Reuters that they are ‘pleased’ with the preliminary outcome.

A similar claim against the singer by the company has currently been halted, while a separate lawsuit by a different area of Townsend’s estate is awaiting trial action.

UNILAD has contacted a representative of Structured Asset Sales and Ed Sheeran for comment.

Of course, this is not the first time that Sheeran has been involved in a copyright infringement court case. 

A judge ruled on 6 April that the singer-songwriter had not plagiarised the 2015 song 'Oh Why' by Sami Chokri.

Sheeran and his 'Shape Of You' co-writers - Snow Patrol's John McDaid and producer Steven McCutcheon - had denied ripping off the tune by the grime artist.

If you have a story you want to tell, send it to UNILAD via [email protected] 

Topics: Music, Ed Sheeran, News, US News

Gabriella Ferlita
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