Will Ed Sheeran Stand in Court Over Plagiarism Case?

Published January 5th, 2019 - 07:07 GMT
British singer Ed Sheeran, who has released a new album titled Divide. AFP
British singer Ed Sheeran, who has released a new album titled Divide. AFP

Ed Sheeran will face court over claims that he plagiarised Marvin Gaye's 'Let's Get It On'.

The 27-year-old musician previously denied that his 2014 single 'Thinking Out Loud' imitated the 1973 hit - however his bid to dismiss the lawsuit over his own song has been rejected, meaning a jury will decide whether or not he is guilty.

It has been reported District Judge Louis Stanton made the decision as he believed there were "substantial similarities between several" of the two works' musical elements.

According to the BBC, the US judge went on to asses similarities between the tracks including bass lines, percussion the "aesthetic appeal" to listeners.

Stanton added that jurors "may be impressed by footage of a Sheeran performance which shows him seamlessly transitioning" between the two songs.

The pop star's defence team have argued that the songs differ where Ed's track is a "sombre, melancholic tones, addressing long lasting romantic love" while 'Let's Get It On' is a "sexual anthem".

The action has been brought against Ed, Sony/ATV Music Publishing and Atlantic Records by the estate and heirs of the late producer Ed Townsend, who co-wrote the track with Gaye.

This isn't the first time Ed has been accused of copying the iconic single, as in 2016, heirs of Ed Townsend, who co-wrote the song with Marvin - both of whom are now dead - claimed the two tracks were "strikingly similar".

The lawsuit states: "The defendants copied the 'heart' of 'Let's' and repeated it continuously throughout 'Thinking'.
"The melodic, harmonic, and rhythmic compositions of 'Thinking' are substantially and/or strikingly similar to the drum composition of 'Let's'."

At the time, Ed denied the allegations and no further action was taken.

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