Judge Rules Marvin Gaye Plagiarism Case Against Ed Sheeran Is Valid
A jury will now have to decide whether Sheeran owes the Gaye estate money.
The lawsuit in which Ed Sheeran has been accused of plagiarizing a classic Marvin Gaye song is moving forward. A U.S. district judge reportedly determined that there was enough substantial evidence in the case to send it to a jury for further evaluataion, Reuters reports.
Sheeran has been accused of reworking Marvin Gaye's classic 1973 hit "Let's Get It On," for his 2014 single "Thinking Out Loud." The judge reportedly determined that there was "substantial similarities between several of the two works’ musical elements." The judge also suggested that jurors "may be impressed by footage of a Sheeran performance which shows him seamlessly transitioning between [both songs]."
A jury will now have to determine whether Sheeran owes the Gaye estate and co-writer Ed Townsend (who initially filed the lawsuit) money. Townsend originally sued the pop singer for $100 million. A third-party estate who owns a percentage of Townsend's estate is also suing Sheeran for copyright infringement.
Ed Sheeran's ongoing case comes shortly after the Gaye estate scored another victory against Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams over their 2013 single "Blurred Lines." A judge ruled that there were substantial similarities between the duo's single and Gaye's "Got to Give It Up." Thicke and Pharrell were both ordered to pay over $5 million in damages to the estate.
This wouldn't be Sheeran's first rodeo however. The singer previously settled a copyright infringement lawsuit over his 2014 song "Photograph." He also had to credit TLC's writers on his song "Shape of You," which reportedly sampled the trio's hit "No Scrubs."
It's unclear when this case will officially go to court. Check out the similarities between Sheeran's "Thinking Out Loud" and Marvin Gaye's "Let's Get It On" below.