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Ed Sheeran, a singer-songwriter, has recently been in the news after triumphing in a prominent copyright infringement trial in the United States. The focus of the dispute was Ed Sheeran’s smash single “Thinking Out Loud,” which was charged with ripping off parts of the timeless Marvin Gaye song “Let’s Get It On.”

A jury decided in Sheeran’s favor after a week-long trial, finding that the two songs had little in common. Sheeran surprised his fans with a surprise street performance in Times Square in New York City to commemorate the decision. He sang some of his biggest hits for them.

Surprise Street Concert

Ed Sheeran

Ed Sheeran has reason to celebrate after winning a copyright infringement trial in the US. The singer-songwriter has been accused of plagiarizing the Marvin Gaye classic “Let’s Get It On” in his hit song “Thinking Out Loud.” However, a jury ruled in favor of Sheeran, stating that there was no substantial similarity between the two songs.

Sheeran made the decision to perform a surprise street concert in New York City to commemorate the decision. Fans cheered and applauded the spontaneous performance, which took place in crowded Times Square.

Among the songs Sheeran performed were “Thinking Out Loud,” “Shape of You,” and “Castle on the Hill.” The musician was in a good mood as he thanked his supporters and celebrated his win in court.

Sheeran talked to Billboard in his first interview following the trial about his experience. The musician expressed relief at the conclusion of the court matter and expressed appreciation for the efforts of his legal team. Sheeran also talked about the value of creativity and his efforts to produce fresh music.

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According to Sheeran, “I think that every artist should be able to create freely without worrying about being held liable for something that they didn’t intentionally copy.”

Overall, Sheeran can now continue to make songs without fear of legal action, so it’s a nice conclusion for him.

The Trial

The Ed Sheeran song “Thinking Out Loud,” which was published in 2014 and quickly rose to commercial success, was at the core of the copyright trial. The family of Ed Townsend, who collaborated on the song “Let’s Get It On” with Marvin Gaye, sued Sheeran in 2016 on the grounds that “Thinking Out Loud” contained parts that were stolen from their composition.

The trial got underway on April 30, 2023, and it continued for a while. Any resemblances between the two songs, according to Sheeran and his legal team, are the result of shared musical elements rather than an intentional attempt to mimic “Let’s Get It On.” Finally, the jury came to a consensus and chose to side with Sheeran.

Musicologist Kathryn Townsend Griffin testified during the trial that there were similarities between “Let’s Get It On” and “Thinking Out Loud.” But ultimately, the jury came to the conclusion that any similarities were not significant enough to amount to copyright infringement.

Sheeran’s Reaction

Ed Sheeran has openly expressed his worry about the trial and acknowledged that it has affected him greatly. Following the verdict’s announcement, the musician thanked his supporters on social media for their support and sent messages of relief and thanks.

The defense team for Sheeran said in a statement following the trial, “We are pleased that the jury recognized the originality and creativity of Ed’s songwriting and composition.”

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The Importance of Copyright

The case draws attention to the continuing discussion around copyright and plagiarism in the music business. Some contend that legal actions like this restrict artists’ access to sources of inspiration and hinder their creative freedom. Others think copyright rules are necessary to safeguard artists’ rights and guarantee fair pay for their creative output.

Whatever your views on the matter, it is obvious that copyright infringement cases may be complicated and challenging to negotiate. The musician Ed Sheeran and his legal team achieved a huge victory in this case, but it also serves as a reminder of the value of adhering to copyright laws and safeguarding the rights of all artists.

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