Two years after Ed Sheeran was hit with a lawsuit from the family of Ed Townsend, a co-writer of Marvin Gaye’s “Let’s Get It On”, he is currently facing another lawsuit for the same reason.
According to TMZ, the lawsuit was filed by a company called Structured Asset Sales. Structured Asset Sales has owned Townsend’s one-third share of the copyright since his death in 2003. The lawsuit, filed last week in 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York, states that Sheeran copied Gaye’s “Let’s Get It On” in his 2014 hit, “Thinking Out Loud”, without authorization or credit.
— Bill Donahue (@Bill__Donahue) June 28, 2018
“According to the lawsuit, Sheeran’s song has the same melody, rhythms, harmonies, drums, bass-line, backing chorus, tempo, syncopation, and looping” as Gaye’s 1973 hit, TMZ reported. Sheeran was also sued for another hit song of his, “Photograph”, in 2016.
“Let’s Get It On” topped the Billboard singles chart in 1973 and is certified platinum by the RIAA. “Thinking Out Loud” peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 2014 and is certified “diamond” by the RIAA for streaming-equivalent sales of over 10 million copies.
It is possible that Sheeran will be ordered to pay, as singers have been accused of copyright infringement in the past. In 2015, Gaye’s family successfully sued Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams over their single “Blurred Lines”, winning a $7.4 million settlement. Gaye’s family claimed Thicke’s 2013 hit song borrowed heavily from Marvin Gaye’s 1977 hit “Got to Give It Up.”
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