The jury ruled on Thursday that English singer and songwriter Ed Sheeran is not liable for allegedly copying the music chords of Marvin Gaye’s “Let’s Get It On,” in his 2014 hit “Thinking Out Loud.”
Sheeran hugged his team and said “thank you” after the verdict was announced.
Sheeran did not respond to any questions from the media outside the courthouse. Sheeran said that he is happy to “not have to retire from his day job,” after saying he was going stop writing music in the event of a loss.
He said previously in court, “If this happens, I am done — I will stop.”
Sheeran says he is “grateful” that the jury “saw through the attempts” of the plaintiff’s expert to make “misleading” comparisons between the two songs. Finding “similarities where there are none” was “a mistake.”
Sheeran said, “It is devastating to be accused by someone else of stealing their song.” He added, “We must come together as a writing community and bring back the common sense,” and “use trusted individuals” to act as music experts, so that the “creative processes” can continue.
The verdict comes after a trial where the famous musician himself took the witness stand to denounce the lawsuit. He called it “frustrating”, “insulting”, and said that he “works very hard” to compose his own music. The jury took 2 hours, 30 minutes to make their decision on Thursday.
The lawsuit for copyright infringement was filed by the family members of Ed Townsend who wrote Gaye’s song. According to reports, the lawsuit sought $100 million damages.
Sheeran insists he wrote the song on his own, and spars with Keisha rice, the plaintiff’s lawyer, about “independent creativity.”
Ben Crump, an attorney representing the heirs to Townsend, said that Sheeran had combined both songs at some point during a concert. He said that merging the songs was equivalent to “a confess.”
Sheeran responded to the accusations that he had copied songs by saying, “I would be an idiot if I stood on a stage and did that in front of 20 000 people.”
Sheeran also attacked the plaintiff’s expert on music during the trial. He said he had given a “horrible portrayal” of “Thinking Out Loud.”
Sheeran stated that he knew he was wrong, because ‘I wrote it myself.
The singer-songwriter stated, “If I may be honest, what he is doing here seems criminal.”
Sheeran’s lawyers have claimed that his song uses only the foundational elements of popular music.
The lawyers stated in court that “the two songs share versions a similar chord progression which was available to all writers.”