Ed Sheeran Triumphs in Copyright Trials

Overcoming Legal Challenges

Ed Sheeran, in recent years, has been embroiled in three copyright infringement lawsuits regarding his 2014 hit “Thinking Out Loud” and its alleged similarities to Marvin Gaye’s 1973 classic “Let’s Get It On.” The first of these lawsuits was initiated eight years ago by the heirs of Ed Townsend, Gaye’s co-writer. The subsequent two were filed by David Pullman, an investment banker with a stake in the song’s copyright.

Dismissal of Claims

Pullman’s first lawsuit, echoing the Townsend heirs’ claim and focusing on the sheet music of “Thinking Out Loud,” was dismissed on May 16. The judge who ruled on this case had also presided over the unsuccessful lawsuit brought by Townsend’s heirs.

Sheeran’s Courtroom Demonstration

A pivotal moment in the Townsend heirs’ case occurred when Sheeran, in a striking courtroom demonstration, played the guitar on the witness stand. He aimed to show the jury that the chord progression and rhythm in question are common in many songs, including those predating “Let’s Get It On.” This strategy paid off when, on May 4, 2023, the jury sided with Sheeran after brief deliberations.

Experience a key moment from the courtroom battle involving Ed Sheeran. Watch the video below to see how the acclaimed artist defended his work and ultimately triumphed.