Musician Ed Sheeran leaves the Federal Courthouse in New York, US, on Wednesday, May 3, 2023.

Stephanie Keith | bloomberg | Getty Images

A federal jury in Manhattan ruled Thursday that pop star Ed Sheeran did not infringe the copyright of Marvin Gaye’s song “Let’s Get It On.”

The question was whether Sheeran’s 2014 song “Thinking Out Loud” was menacing from the 1973 classic. Juries decided that Sheeran, 32, created his song independently and was not liable for copyright infringement.

After a two-week trial, the jury reached a unanimous verdict after three hours of deliberation.

Upon hearing the verdict, Sheeran stood up and hugged his attorney, according to NBC News. His wife and ‘Thinking Out Loud’ co-writer Amy Wedge was seen crying.

The lawsuit was filed by the heirs of Ed Townsend, who co-wrote “Let’s Get It On” with Gaye. Plaintiffs first filed the civil suit in 2017 and alleged that Sheeran, Warner Music Group, and Sony Music Publishing had stolen from the soul classic, violating federal copyright law.

The trial saw Sheeran take a stand in defense of his Grammy Award-winning song. Sheeran told the jury that he independently composed “Thinking Out Loud” with British songwriter Wadge, who was not named in the lawsuit.

When asked about the outcome of the case earlier this week, Sheeran threatened to quit music if he was found guilty. “If that happens, I’m done, I’m going to stop,” Sheeran said in court on Monday.

This past April, Sheeran took the stage for another one of his songs, 2017’s “Shape of You.” A London judge ruled in that case in Sheeran’s favor and awarded him more than $1.1 million in legal fees.

Jay passed away in 1984, while Townsend passed away in 2003.


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