NEW YORK — On Monday, in Manhattan, the copyright infringement trial of music sensation Ed Sheeran will get underway.
It is said that his song “Thinking Out Loud” is too similar to the timeless Marvin Gaye track “Let’s Get It On,” and as a result, he is being sued for alleged plagiarism.
Sheeran and the estate of Ed Townsend, the songwriter behind “Let’s Get It On,” are currently engaged in a legal battle over the topic.
Kathryn Griffin-Townsend, Townsend’s daughter, stated a month ago that “this must come to an end.” “There is already enough anarchy occurring in the world right now without our having to stand here and worry about other people stealing the belongings of other people,” said one person.
The hazy legal landscape surrounding music copyrights is discussed in another article.
Ben Crump, a civil rights attorney who represents the Townsend family, claims that theft of intellectual property from black musicians has been going on for decades in the music industry. Crump is the attorney for the Townsend family.
“For a significant amount of time, Black musicians have been the ones to create, be inspired by, and disseminate music all around the world. And Ed Townsend’s family believes that musicians’ infringement of Black artists, such as that of Mr. Sheeran, is simply another example of artists capitalising on the talent and the effort of Black singers and composers, according to Crump.
This is not the first time that the British pop artist has been involved in a conflict of this nature with a record label.
Sheeran prevailed in yet another copyright case in March 2022, this time involving the song “Shape of You.”
“There is no way to prevent coincidences from occurring. If Spotify releases 60,000 new songs every day, the total number of songs available on the platform each year would be 22 million. Last year, he responded to a question posted on social media by stating that there are only 12 available notes.
The plaintiffs in that action argue that Sheeran’s staff exchanged emails recognising that the songs sounded similar to one another. They ask for compensation depending on the percentage of the music that the court deems was copied, even if the chord progression was taken by chance. This is despite the fact that the chord progression was taken by another artist.
If the jury decides that Sheeran is responsible for infringing someone else’s intellectual property rights, the court will convene a second trial to establish the amount of damages that he and his record labels are obligated to pay. It is anticipated that the first experiment will take up to a week to complete.