Ed Sheeran Sued For Ripping Off A Marvin Gaye Song
Here we go again, another lawsuit involving a Marvin Gaye song and a modern hit. Remember when the Marvin Gaye estate got $7.4 million after suing Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams for copyright infringement over their song ‘Blurred Lines’? Well this time Ed Sheeran ‘s hit single Thinking Out Loud’ is the focus of a new lawsuit. First of all, the song has been extremely successful, it has been streamed on YouTube by more than 1 billion people, and I was not one of them until today,and the song was Sheeran’s first number one single, basically climbing the top of the charts in almost every countries. The case is a bit different from the Pharrell Williams-Robin Thicke case though because this time the lawsuit has been filed by Ed Townsend’s heirs, since Townsend composed and co-wrote the lyrics to Marvin Gaye’s ‘Let’s Get It On’ in 1973. The song barely received 400,000 hits on Youtube, really nothing in comparison to Sheehan’s hit!
According to The Guardian, the Townsend estate thinks that ‘the harmonic progressions, melodic and rhythmic elements central to Gaye’s track formed the structure of Sheehan’s hit,’ and that ‘the defendants copied the ‘heart’ of ‘Let’s’ and repeated it continuously throughout Thinking’… ‘The melodic, harmonic, and rhythmic compositions of Thinking are substantially and/or strikingly similar to the drum composition of ‘Let’s’, says the lawsuit.
I honestly didn’t hear it when I watched Sheeran’s clip below, may be because his voice bores me to death very quickly and has nothing to do with Gaye’s coolness and sensuality. I can only admit that the R&B rhythms are a bit similar, but I have a hard time to hear close similarities between both songs.
The Sheeran team has not publicly responded to the claim, but this is the second time the British pop star is sued for the same reason, as he got sued in June for allegedly ripping off ‘Amazing’ from X Factor winner Matt Cardlea song, to compose his song ‘Photograph’. The composers of the song are looking for $20 million in damages and possible portion of Sheeran’s royalties from ‘Photograph’.
Sheeran is extremely rich and successful but two lawsuits in 2 months? I see a trend. Does this mean that Ed Sheeran is really a bad thief – honestly who isn’t one in the music business? – or does it mean that a very successful lawsuit (the Pharrell Williams-Robin Thicke one) will always encourage a series of copycats?