A jury found Ed Sheeran, a British musician, not guilty of stealing significant portions of Marvin Gaye’s iconic 1970s song “Let’s Get It On” in order to make his famous song “Thinking Out Loud,” leading Sheeran to quip that he won’t have to follow through on his promise to abandon music later.
As soon as the seven-person jury announced its decision after more than two hours of deliberation, the emotions of an epic copyright battle that spanned most of the previous ten years came out.
Ed Sheeran, 32, buried his face in his hands for a while in reassurance before getting up to embrace his lawyer, Ilene Farkas. Sheeran grinned and nodded his head at numerous jurors as they left the courtroom in front of him, mouthing the words “Thank you.” He afterwards posed with a juror who was standing behind him for a hallway picture.
He also spoke with plaintiff Kathryn Townsend Griffin, the daughter of Ed Townsend, who had testified and co-wrote the 1973 soul song with Gaye. During their roughly 10-minute conversation, they exchanged hugs, smiled, and even clasped hands briefly.
Later, Ed Sheeran spoke to reporters outside the courthouse, revisiting his claim from the trial that if he lost, he might consider giving up songwriting.
Ed Sheeran’s Statement After Winning the Case
“I am obviously very happy with the outcome of this case, and it looks like I’m not going to have to retire from my day job, after all. But at the same time, I am unbelievably frustrated that baseless claims like this are allowed to go to court at all,” the singer said, reading from a prepared statement.
In addition, he claimed that the trial prevented him from attending his grandmother’s burial in Ireland and that he “will never get that time back.”
Griffin claimed to be relieved once the verdict was announced within the courtroom.
“I’m just glad it’s over,” she said of the trial. “We can be friends.”
She expressed her gratitude for Sheeran’s approach.
“It showed me who he was,” Griffin said.
Ed Sheeran claimed that although her copyright action wasn’t personal, she was keeping her promise to her father to defend his intellectual property.
There was not an instantaneous unanimity when discussions started, a jury member named Sophia Neis informed reporters following the verdict.
Ed Sheeran speaks after jury finds he didn’t copy Marvin Gaye
Inside the Courthouse
Ed Sheeran demonstrated how he effortlessly mixes together two or three songs at concerts to “spice it up a bit” for his sizable fans during his two-day defence testimony by frequently picking up a guitar that was laying behind him.
Sheeran spoke in court, stating that other musicians in the business were keenly following the case. “When you write songs, somebody comes after you,” he said.
He was adamant that neither he nor the song’s co-writer Amy Wadge had plagiarised any material from “Let’s Get it On.”
The song by Sheeran, which was released in 2014, was a success and received a Grammy for song of the year.
Although Sheeran was the main defendant in the “Thinking Out Loud” lawsuit, Atlantic Records and Sony/ATV Music Publishing were also named as defendants.