Ed Sheeran faces plagiarism lawsuit over ′Thinking Out Loud′ | Music | DW | 11.08.2016
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Music

Ed Sheeran faces plagiarism lawsuit over 'Thinking Out Loud'

It was the song that launched the 25-year-old red-head to international stardom. Now Ed Sheeran is being sue with claims that "Thinking Out Loud" resembled Marvin Gaye's "Let's Get It On" a bit too much.

Heirs of the composer for Marvin Gaye's 1973 should classic "Let's Get It On" have sued British mega-star Ed Sheeran for copyright infringement.

The claim, filed in New York by the heirs of composer Ed Townsend, claim his hit "Thinking Out Loud" borrows too much of the melodic, harmonic and rhythmic elements of "Let's Get It On."

"The defendants copied the 'heart' of 'Let's' and repeated it continuously throughout 'Thinking,'" the lawsuit said. It also claimed that the musician continued to perform the song even after being informed of the alleged infringement last year.

The plaintiffs are seeking to stop Sheeran from further performances of "Thinking Out Loud." They also aim to collect damages and profits from the song.

Not included in the accusations, a YouTube video from a 2014 concert in Zurich shows Sheeran breaking into an excerpt of "Let's Get It On" during a performance of "Thinking Out Loud." "We are all sensitive people," he quotes the 1973 classic.

The musician has not yet commented on the claims.

A record-breaking hit

Sheeran's song became the first to reach 500 million streams on Spotify and the album, "X," is one of the bestselling albums in the UK so far this century.

The lawsuit comes two months after two California songwriters sued Sheeran for $20 million over his popular song, "Photograph."

It's also not the first time Marvin Gaye's songs have been the subject of plagiarism claims. Last year, the soul musician's heirs were awarded $7 million in damages after a court deemed that Robin Thicke's hit "Blurred Lines," written with Pharrell Williams, had copied Gaye's 1997 "Got to Give It Up."

British rock legends Led Zeppelin were also recently slapped with a copyright lawsuit, with the former band Spirit claiming they stole the intro to "Stairway to Heaven." However, Led Zeppelin were cleared of the allegations.

kbm/rb (AFP, AP, Reuters)

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