Ed Sheeran is facing the second week of a copyright trial in New York, where he is accused of stealing from Marvin Gaye’s 1973 success Let’s Get It On to create his 2014 hit Thinking Out Loud.
Ed Sheeran says he has received support from other performers as he enters the second week of a copyright trial alleging he stole the iconic Marvin Gaye song Let’s Get It On for his song Thinking Out Loud.
The 32-year-old celebrity, who denies duplicating the 1973 soul hit written by Marvin Gaye and Ed Townsend, has spent two days so far in the witness box at the Manhattan federal courthouse.
Since the trial began a week ago, Sheeran has heard from other performers who share his concerns about songwriting litigation.
The star, who was born in Suffolk, did not identify the singers in question. He stated they support him because he is fighting what many songwriters see as a danger to their job.
“When you write songs, somebody comes after you,” said Sheeran.
He has thus far provided an impassioned defense of his work and sung and played guitar in the Manhattan courtroom.
During the first week of the trial, Sheeran gave a fleeting mini-performance of his 2014 number-one single Thinking Out Loud. Which topped the charts in over a dozen countries, including the United Kingdom, the United States, and Ireland.
He claims to write nine songs a day using his version of phonetics.
Several years ago, Townsend’s daughter, Kathryn Townsend Gryphon, filed a lawsuit against her father, seeking unspecified damages.
During opening statements, Townsend’s attorney referred to a video clip recorded at a concert in Zurich. In which Sheeran can be heard segueing between Let’s Get It On and Thinking Out Loud as a “smoking gun.”
Sheeran has stated that he uses “mashups” (switching from his song to someone else’s and back) to “spice it up a bit” during his concerts, selecting songs with similar chord progressions.
He further informed the court that Thinking Out Loud was previously called “the Van Morrison song” by his record label. Describing the Northern Irish vocalist as “one of my most significant influences.”
Sheeran called accusations of stealing other artists’ work “insulting” during cross-examination.
Sheeran won his High Court copyright case against two songwriters who claimed he stole their music for Shape Of You.
At the time, Sheeran stated that such copyright claims were “way too common” and “made with the idea that a settlement will be cheaper than taking it to court, even if there is no basis for the claim” He stated that such instances were “extremely detrimental to the songwriting industry.”
The anticipated two-week trial continues.