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Ed Sheeran is done with music if found guilty in copyright trial

A jury will decide if the British singer-songwriter is guilty of ripping off Marvin Gaye's "Let's Get It On."
Ed Sheeran is done with music if found guilty in copyright trial
Posted at 9:37 PM, May 03, 2023

Ed Sheeran's future in the music industry apparently hangs on the decision of a Manhattan court.

The British singer-songwriter is being sued for copyright infringement over allegedly stealing elements of Marvin Gaye's "Let's Get It On" to write his 2014 single "Thinking Out Loud."

During questioning, Sheeran's lawyer, Ilene Farkas, asked the musician what he would do if found guilty. According to People magazine, Sheeran said, "If that happens, I'm done. I'm stopping."

The estate of Ed Townsend, who co-write the song with Gaye, filed the lawsuit in 2017, alleging the two songs had "striking similarities" that violate copyright law.

Sheeran has made his frustration with the case clear from the start, calling the allegations "really insulting" and testifying the rhythms are commonly used in pop songs.

To demonstrate his point in court, Sheeran performed the chords used in "Thinking Out Loud" while singing various songs from other artists, whom he testified he did not copy.

Sheeran's co-writer Amy Wage also testified she was "just playing simple chords that I knew how to play" and that it was "not possible" for her to have infringed on another song, according to CNN.

In closing arguments Wednesday, Farkas told jurors the chord progressions were "the letters of the alphabet of music" and that any similarities between the songs are "basic to the toolkit of songwriters."

Meanwhile, Keisha Rice, who represents Townsend's estate, told the jury to pay attention to how the "common elements were uniquely combined" and asked jurors not to be "blinded by the defendant's celebrity."

The jury is expected to continue deliberations Thursday morning. If they decide Sheeran is liable, the trial will move to a second phase to determine damages.

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