Ed Sheeran Found Not Guilty Of Copyrighting Marvin Gaye Hit

“It’s devastating to be accused”

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A seven-member jury has found Ed Sheeran did not plagiarise Martin Gaye’s Let’s Get It On when composing his song, Thinking Out Loud.

Sheeran had threatened to quit music should the case heard at a Manhattan Court did not rule in his favour.

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The jury, made of three men and four women, found the heirs of Let’s Get It On songwriter Ed Townsend had insufficiently proved that Sheeran, label Warner Music Group, and Sony Music Publishing had breached any copyright infringements.

Speaking to media following the verdict, Sheeran was visibly pleased to with the outcome, saying he’s “just a guy with a guitar who loves writing music for people to enjoy.”

"It's devastating to be accused of stealing someone else's song when we've put so much work into our livelihoods," he said.

"I want to thank the jury for making the decision that will help protect the creative process for songwriters here in the United States and all around the world."


The verdict was made after just three hours of jury deliberation following a six-day trial.

Townsend’s heirs had testified that Sheeran had publicly admitted to ripping off Gaye’s song when he performed a mash-up live of the two songs in question at a concert.

Sheeran’s team rebutted that “there are dozens if not hundreds of songs that predate and postdate Gaye’s song, “using the same or similar chord progression.”

The heirs of Townsend were seeking a share of the profits made from Sheeran’s 2014 hit, which shot up America’s Billboard Hot 100 chart and won him the Grammy’s Song of the Year in 2016.

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Tricia Mifsud

4 May 2023

Article by:

Tricia Mifsud

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