Ed Sheeran Acquitted of Plagiarism Allegations in Marvin Gaye Lawsuit
The lawsuit claimed that Sheeran had copied “key elements” of Gaye’s song, but a Manhattan district court found him not guilty on May 4, 2023.
The estate of Marvin Gaye and the heirs of Ed Townsend, who co-wrote “Let’s Get It On” with Gaye, filed the lawsuit against Sheeran, Sony/ATV Music Publishing, and Atlantic Records. The court also acquitted the other defendants of any wrongdoing.
Speaking to the reporters outside the courthouse, Sheeran expressed his relief and frustration with the case, saying, “I’m obviously very happy with the outcome of the case. And it looks like I’m not having to retire from my day job after all. But at the same time, I’m unbelievably frustrated that baseless claims like this are allowed to go to court at all.”
He further revealed that he missed his grandmother’s funeral because of the trial, a time he could never get back.
The ruling is a significant victory for Sheeran, who had previously stated that he would walk away from music if he was found guilty. The decision also sets a precedent for future plagiarism lawsuits in the music industry.
Fans of Sheeran took to social media to express their relief and happiness at the outcome of the case .
One of the fans said: “I was too scared to write hits in fear that the Marvin Gaye estate came after me. This verdict makes me feel like I can write hits again without fear of getting sued A thanks Ed Sheeran.”
In the same vein, another fan commented that “This result is huge for everyone in the music industry, and I couldn’t be happier for your result. We’ve backed you all the way at Capital, there’s no denying your talent and integrity. Let’s hope this stops ridiculous claims and puts focus on the ones that are legit.”
The lawsuit was just one of several high-profile plagiarism cases in recent years, with Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams ordered to pay $5 million to the Marvin Gaye estate in 2015 for their song “Blurred Lines.” With this ruling, Sheeran can now continue making music without fear of similar accusations.