US district judge Louis Stanton has ruled that a jury will decide the outcome of a plagiarism lawsuit against Ed Sheeran over his No. 1 single “Thinking Out Loud.” The lawsuit, which alleges that Sheeran copied portions of Marvin Gaye’s 1973 hit “Let’s Get It On,” was launched against the singer, Sony/ATV and Atlantic Records by the estate of producer Ed Townsend, who co-wrote the song.
While Sheeran and his team have denied the claims, judge Stanton - who is also overseeing a separate $100 million lawsuit over the same song launched by Structured Asset Sales which owns part of the copyright of “Let’s Get It On” - said that he found “substantial similarities between several of the two works’ musical elements”.
“Thinking Out Loud” has spent 118 weeks in the Top 100.
The ruling arrives less than a month after a California judge ruled against the writers of “Blurred Lines” in a case involving copying infringement of another one of Gaye’s song.