Ed Sheeran faces trial in copyright dispute over song’s similarities to Marvin Gaye’s Let’s Get It On
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Structured Asset Sales LLC, which owns one third of Ed Townsend’s estate, first began filing against Ed Sheeran over copyright infringement in 2018. Now, U.S. District Judge Louis Stanton in Manhattan has denied Sheeran’s bid to dismiss the copyright infringement suit
Structured Asset Sales LLC are claiming $100m (around £900,000) in royalties owed, which may include revenue from ticket sales - a point of contention in the case.
Why is Ed Sheeran going to trial?
Structured Asset Sales LLC claim in their lawsuit that Ed Sheeran’s hit infringed on the copyright of Ed Townsend and Marvin Gaye’s hit, Let’s Get It On, through "the melodic, harmonic, and rhythmic compositions of ‘Thinking’ are substantially and/or strikingly similar to the drum composition of ‘Let’s Get It On.”
Judge Louis Stanton said a jury must decide whether the two songs are substantially similar because music experts on both sides of the dispute disagree whether Sheeran’s song mimics Let’s Get It On.
“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,” Stanton said.
Judge Stanton also ruled that jurors must decide whether Structured Asset Sales LLC can include concert revenue in damages, rejecting Sheeran’s argument that ticket sales weren’t tied to the alleged copyright infringement.