The two begin selecting members for a jury that will determine whether British pop star Ed Sheeran, in his song “Thinking Out Loud” (2014), plagiarized American Marvin Gaye’s song “Let’s Get It On”.
The plaintiffs in this case are the estates of Ed Townsend, a musician and producer who co-wrote Gaye’s 1973 hit.
They claim that there are “significant similarities and clear commonalities” between Gaye’s song and Sheeran’s “Thinking Out Loud”.
This is not the first time that the British singer has faced similar lawsuits. Sheeran testified in April 2022 in a London court in a lawsuit related to his song “Shape of You”.
One of the lawyers for the case indicated that Sheeran is likely to be among the witnesses who will be called in this trial, which is scheduled to begin its opening sessions on Tuesday after the selection of the jury members.
The Townsend family claims that the “Boys to Men” band mixed the two songs and that Sheeran combined the two works into one song that he performs at his concerts.
As for Sheeran’s defense attorneys, they deny these allegations, stressing that “there are dozens, if not hundreds, of songs that were released before Gaye’s song, and in which the same or similar tension was used.”
And the song “Thinking Out Loud” appeared on the top 100 songs in the United States upon its release, and Sheeran won the Grammy for “Song of the Year” for the year 2016.
The lawsuit, filed in 2016, was previously dismissed in 2017 for procedural reasons, and Sony is one of the parties.
During the trial in London, the court considered that Sheeran did not resort “neither intentionally nor inadvertently” to copying part of Sami Shoukry and Ross O’Donohue’s melody “Oh Way” for use in his song “Shape of You”.
Judge Anthony Zaccaroli concluded at the time that there were “intuitive similarities” between the two songs, but that simple similarities also existed “in countless pop, rock, folk and blues songs”.
The Gaye family is not a party to the lawsuit in New York, knowing that it has previously won a lawsuit it filed against Robin Thicke, Pharrell Williams and T.I. I regarding the similarity of “Bloodlines” and Marvin Gaye’s “Got to Give It Up”.