A federal judge has ordered Ed Sheeran to stand trial over accusations that his 2014 hit “Thinking Out Loud” ripped off Marvin Gaye’s iconic “Let’s Get It On”.
Billboard reports that Judge Louis Stanton denied a request by Sheeran’s lawyers to drop the case, which was first filed back in 2018; the judge was not swayed the the arguments of Sheeran’s attorneys that suit was invalid because the various elements the singer-songwriter was alleged to have lifted from Gaye’s 1973 hit weren’t unique enough to covered by copyright.
“There is no bright-line rule that the combination of two unprotectable elements is insufficiently numerous to constitute an original work,” the judge wrote in his ruling. “A work may be copyrightable even though it is entirely a compilation of unprotectable elements.”
Ed Sheeran Accused Of Ripping Off Marvin Gaye’s ‘Let’s Get It On’, Jury To Decide $100-Million Lawsuit, Court Date Set
The lawsuit was filed by an entity owned by music industry executive David Pullman called Structured Asset Sales, which owns a one-third stake in the copyrights of Ed Townsend, who co-wrote “Let’s Get It On” with Gaye. The suit is seeking $100 million in damages.
Some of Townsend’s other heirs filed a separate case involving their own respective stake in the song, which is now expected to go to trial eventually.
Ed Sheeran Speaks Out On Copyright Lawsuit Victory: ‘You Can’t Settle’
This isn’t the first time that Sheeran has been it with similar charges; he recently defeated a similar lawsuit alleging he stole elements of another song for his 2017 track “Shape of You”.