A jury found musician Ed Sheeran, who stood accused of copying Marvin Gaye’s 1973 hit “Let’s Get It On” when he composed his 2014 single “Thinking Out Loud,” not liable Thursday in the copyright infringement lawsuit brought against him, according to NBC News.
They deliberated for three hours before coming to the unanimous decision, which was required for this case.
The British musician’s attorney Ilene Farkas previously asked Sheeran what would happen if he lost. The 32-year-old singer said being found guilty would mean the end of his musical career.
“If that happens, I’m done – I’m stopping. I find it really insulting to work my whole life as a singer-songwriter and diminish it,” Sheeran said during the trial.
“Did you copy anything from ‘Let’s Get it On’ when you wrote ‘Thinking Out Loud?’” Farkas asked the musician outright during the trial, as The Daily Wire previously reported.
“No,” he answered.
Sheeran and his “Thinking Out Loud” co-writer Amy Wadge said the single shared more similarities to multiple Van Morrison songs, including “Tupelo Honey” and “Crazy Love,” which he demonstrated by playing those songs on the stand.
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“Once we had written and Ed started playing it from the phone, we both said it was a Van (Morrison) song,” Wadge said in her testimony. “It had the same sort of feel as a Van Morrison song.”
Sheeran’s attorney also present the argument that the four-chord progression in question was very basic and that “no one owns basic musical building blocks.”
Sheeran’s legal team wrote in an earlier written filing, “The two songs share versions of a similar and unprotectable chord progression that was freely available to all songwriters.”
The British songwriter has been involved in legal battles before. One of his previous copyright cases was settled out of court, while he won the other. Sheeran has vocally opposed these types of lawsuits before.
“It’s really damaging to the songwriting industry. There’s only so many notes and very few chords used in pop music,” Sheeran said during a video post he shared on Instagram.
“Coincidence is bound to happen if 60,000 songs are being released every day on Spotify. That’s 22 million songs a year, and there’s only 12 notes that are available. I’m not an entity. I’m not a corporation. I’m a human being. I’m a father. I’m a husband. I’m a son. Lawsuits are not a pleasant experience.”