Let's Get [This Trial] On: Ed Sheeran headed to court in September over copyright suit

ABC/Paula LoboEd Sheeran will be headlining a courtroom this September, as he battles a copyright lawsuit claiming his hit “Thinking Out Loud” rips off late Motown legend Marvin Gaye‘s classic “Let’s Get It On.”

According to Bill Donahue, a reporter at Law360, Ed has a trial date scheduled on September 11 in New York City.  The jury trial is expected to last five to seven days.  Ed’s tour wraps up August 26 in his home town of Ipswich, England, so ostensibly, he’ll be free to attend — if the case isn’t settled out of court ahead of time.

As previously reported, the heirs of Edward B. Townsend, who own the copyright to “Let’s Get It On,” have accused Ed of copyright infringement, claiming that “Thinking Out Loud” is too similar to Gaye’s song.

Last month, a judge decided that because there are substantial “material facts” in dispute — facts that must be determined by a jury trial — he refused Ed’s motion to dismiss the suit. 

Those “facts” include whether or not the chord progression used in “Let’s Get It On”  — and also used in “Thinking Out Loud” — is “commonplace.” 

Another fact: Whether or not the musical elements in the two songs are so similar that the average person would hear “Thinking Out Loud” and feel that it had been appropriated from “Let’s Get It On.”

In last month’s decision, the judge noted that a jury might be swayed by a video that exists of one of Ed’s live performances, in which he transitions “seamlessly” between the two songs.  Videos of Ed doing that can be easily found on YouTube.

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