Ed Sheeran broke down in tears after winning plagiarism court case
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Ed Sheeran has broken down in 'tears' after winning his copyright infringement lawsuit, saying he felt 'frustrated' but 'happy' with the outcome.
It’s been a tumultuous past few years for the singer after Kathryn Townsend Griffin, the daughter of Ed Townsend, one of the co-writers on the Marvin Gaye track ‘Let’s Get It On’, filed a lawsuit against him back in 2017.
Townsend accused Sheeran of ripping off ‘Let’s Get It On’ for his hit song ‘Thinking Out Loud’, arguing there were 'striking similarities' between the two tracks and 'overt common elements' that violate their copyright.
However, the ‘Shape of You’ singer has always maintained his innocence.
Sheeran's lawyers said that similarities between the songs involved basic musical ‘building blocks’ that cannot be copyrighted.
While arguing his case, Sheeran said before the court: "If I had done what you're accusing me of doing I'd be quite an idiot to stand on stage in front of 25,000 people."
Even during parts of his testimony, the musician brought out his guitar and sang parts of the 2014 song to make his case.
After hearing the closing arguments this week, the jury came to its decision and determined Sheeran didn’t wrongfully copy compositional elements of Gaye's iconic hit.
The singer, who was on cloud nine, told reporters outside the courthouse that he was 'obviously very happy with the outcome of the case'.
However, he admitted he felt 'frustrated' that 'baseless claims like this' were allowed to go to court in the first place.
“Unfortunately, unfounded claims like this are being fuelled by individuals who are offered as music experts in musical analysis," Sheeran said.
"In this instance, the other side’s musicologist left out words and notes; presented different and simple pictures as melodies and by doing so, created what I think we proved for all to see were misleading comparisons and disinformation to find supposed similarities where none exist, and I think we proved for all to see that they tried to manipulate my and Amy’s song to try and convince the jury that they had a genuine claim.
"I’m very grateful that the jury saw through those attempts."
Amy Wadge, the co-writer of ‘Thinking Out Loud’, said it felt like a huge weight had been lifted off her shoulder.
“It was just the most unbelievable relief and like seven years of stress just leaving my body," she told CNN following the verdict, adding that she and Sheeran ‘had a few tears’ of relief.
"I think it even goes beyond music and the idea that it just comes down to the building blocks of anything - if it was a painting or a film - and for a musician who has just relied upon very little musical knowledge for my whole career, it was terrifying to even contemplate that this could even happen," she said.
Sheeran had felt so strongly about the case that he promised to quit the music industry altogether if found guilty of plagiarising the song.
Joking about his earlier threat, Sheeran continued: "It looks like I’m not going to have to give up my day job after all.
"But at the same time I am absolutely frustrated that baseless claims like this are allowed to go to court at all.
"If the jury had decided this matter the other way we might as well say goodbye to the creative freedom of songwriters."