Ed Sheeran has scored a major legal victory.
A jury found the music superstar not liable in a lawsuit accusing him of copying key components of Marvin Gaye’s ’70s classic “Let’s Get It On” in his own 2014 hit “Thinking Out Loud.”
The unanimous verdict was announced Thursday in New York City on the second day of deliberations, according to NBC News. The trial began April 25 in a Manhattan federal courthouse.
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The heirs of Gaye’s co-writer, Ed Townsend, filed the lawsuit in 2017 and claimed that “Thinking Out Loud” bore “striking similarities” to the copyright-protected “Let’s Get It On.”
Sheeran denied the allegations and reportedly played an acoustic guitar and sang during his testimony to demonstrate his songwriting process.
In a statement to reporters following the jury’s decision, the 32-year-old reflected on the “devastating” legal saga and how he missed his grandmother’s funeral to attend the proceedings.
“I’m just a guy with a guitar who loves to write music for people to enjoy. I am not and will never allow myself to be a piggy bank for anyone to shake,” Sheeran said in part, noting that he now won’t have “to retire from [his] day job” and can continue his creative process and advocating for other artists.
“We need songwriters and the wider community to come together and bring back common sense. These claims needs to be stopped so that the creative process can carry on and we can all go back to making music. And at the same time we absolutely need trusted individuals, real experts who help support the process of protecting copyright,” he concluded.
“Thinking Out Loud” was a massive breakout hit for the musician and scored him the Song of the Year Grammy.
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