Good News: Ed Sheeran Doesn't Need to Quit Music, As He Wins Copyright Case Over 'Thinking Out Loud'


Jury Deliberates In Ed Sheeran's Copyright Trial In New York
(Image credit: Photo by Michael M. Santiago / Getty)

Ed Sheeran has won a court case that alleged he plagiarized Marvin Gaye's song "Let's Get It On" with his 2014 hit "Thinking Out Loud."

Per OK!, the lawsuit was filed in 2017 by heirs of Ed Townsend, who co-wrote "Let's Get It On" with Gaye. They said Sheeran's song had "striking similarities" to and "overt common elements" with the 1973 track.

Sheeran denied all wrongdoing throughout the proceedings, and insisted he did not copy Gaye's musical arrangements. The singer's defense argued that pop songs often use the same chord progressions, and that nobody can claim ownership of these. "These are basic musical building blocks that songwriters now and forever must be free to use, or all of us who love music will be poorer for it," his lawyer Ilene Farkas said (via BBC).

Perhaps we shouldn't be too surprised the popstar won this particular case, since he was so confident he would that he promised to quit music altogether if he lost. During the trial, he said that if he was found guilty, "I'm done, I'm stopping."

Luckily for all fans of the megastar, Sheeran has done the opposite of quitting: His new album, Subtract, was released on May 5—the day after his court win—and is now available wherever you get your music. Not only that, but it's already getting rave reviews, so Sheeran is probably going to have quite a nice weekend.

Still, upon receiving the ruling, the singer expressed a great deal of frustration about the court case moving forward in the first place.

"It looks like I'm not going to have to retire from my day job after all," he said.

"But at the same time I am absolutely frustrated that baseless claims like this are allowed to go to court at all.

"If the jury had decided this matter the other way we might as well say goodbye to the creative freedom of songwriters."

Sheeran concluded, quite visually, "I am not and will never allow myself to be a piggy bank for anyone to shake."

Iris Goldsztajn
Morning Editor

Iris Goldsztajn is a London-based journalist, editor and author. She is the morning editor at Marie Claire, and her work has appeared in the likes of British Vogue, InStyle, Cosmopolitan, Refinery29 and SELF. Iris writes about everything from celebrity news and relationship advice to the pitfalls of diet culture and the joys of exercise. She has many opinions on Harry Styles, and can typically be found eating her body weight in cheap chocolate.