Ed Sheeran’s copyright lawsuit trial is pushing him to quit music. The singer-songwriter just spent his fifth day in court. He is being sued for alleged copyright infringement over his 2014 song “Thinking Out Loud.”
The plaintiff is Structured Asset Sales, who purchased a third of the shares of the song from the family of Ed Townsend (he co-wrote “Let’s Get It On” with Marvin Gaye) in 2018. The suit alleges that Sheeran’s hit song took elements directly from “Let’s Get It On.”
Per People, during the hearing, Sheeran, 32, took the stand and was questioned by his lawyer Ilene Farkas. At one point, he was asked what he would do if the court found “Thinking Out Loud” to be too similar to “Let’s Get It On.” He answered, “If that happens, I’m done. I’m stopping. I find it to be really insulting. I work really hard to be where I’m at.”
Later in the hearing, the “Shivers” singer was questioned by the plaintiff’s lawyer Robert Frank. Sheeran told him, “You’re trying to diminish my success. ‘Thinking Out Loud’ was my first Grammy.” Amy Wage, Sheeran’s co-writer for “Thinking Out Loud,” also took the stand and explained to jurors that the song’s tune sounded more like Van Morrison’s “Have I Told You Lately,” as it has the same chords in a different key. She also chimed in on the accusations, saying, “It was pretty devastating and pretty frightening because it’s something we did not do.”
Sheeran also grew frustrated with the plaintiffs’ musicologist Alexander Stewart, who previously argued that the songs were similar. “I think what he’s doing is criminal here,” he said. “I don’t know why he’s allowed to be an expert.”
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The English singer-songwriter said the creation of “Thinking Out Loud” was a “very collaborative” process between him and co-writer Wedge. He recalled being inspired to create the song after hearing Wedge “mumbling” the chords as he got ready to go to dinner and said he knew they needed to write a song to them. As for the lyrics, he said they were inspired by their personal struggles as Sheeran’s grandmother had been diagnosed with cancer, his “grandad” had died, and Wedge was going through a family illness, he said.