Ed Sheeran Threatens to Quit Music if Found Guilty in Copyright Infringement Trial Over Hit Song ‘Thinking Out Loud’
The ongoing copyright infringement trial over Ed Sheeran’s 2014 hit song “Thinking Out Loud” has taken a new turn as the singer-songwriter threatened to quit music if he loses the case. The heirs of Ed Townsend, one of the co-writers of Marvin Gaye’s “Let’s Get It On,” have accused Sheeran of plagiarizing elements of the 1973 soul classic in his Grammy-winning single.
Appearing in Manhattan federal court earlier this week, Sheeran denied the allegations of infringement and expressed his frustration with the lawsuit. The outcome of the case could potentially have significant consequences for the music industry and copyright law, and the stakes are high for Sheeran, who has faced similar accusations in the past.
The trial is ongoing, and it remains to be seen whether Sheeran will be found guilty of copyright infringement. However, the singer’s threat to quit music if he loses the case underscores the importance of protecting intellectual property and the potentially devastating consequences of infringement accusations for artists and the wider industry.
“If that happens, I’m done, I’m stopping,” Sheeran said while addressing the toll the trial has taken on him (via Daily Mail).
“I find it really insulting to devote my whole life to being a performer and a songwriter and have someone diminish it,” he added.
Sheeran is being sued by Townsend’s heirs, who claim “Thinking Out Loud” bears “striking similarities” and “overt common elements” to “Let’s Get It On.” They are seeking $100 million in damages.
Video footage played in the courtroom showed Sheeran mashing up the two songs during a show, which Townsend’s lawyer Ben Crump described as a “confession.”
“If I’d done what you’re accusing me of doing, I’d be an idiot to stand on stage in front of 20,000 people [and do that],” Sheeran said in response to the allegations. “It is my belief that most pop songs are built on building blocks that have been freely available for 100s of years.”
Speaking to the Associated Press, Sheeran’s lawyer told the court that he and co-writer Amy Wadge “created this heartfelt song without copying ‘Let’s Get It On.’”
Sheeran is gearing up to release his new album Subtract on Friday. He has announced a series of intimate theater shows across North America amid his stadium tour, which kicks off May 6.
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