The family of Ed Townsend, songwriting partner of the late legendary Marvin Gaye, believes that singer Ed Sheeran stole music from one of the duo’s biggest hits.
They allege that Sheeran’s “Thinking Out Loud” copies parts of “Let’s Get It On,” a track that Townsend wrote alongside Gaye. Although both singers are no longer alive, their families are on a mission to protect their legacies.
And this isn’t the first time that the Townsend family has taken Sheeran to court on copyright infringement allegations.
In 2017, Townsend’s daughter, Kathryn Townsend-Griffin, along with his sister Helen McDonald and the estate of his late wife, Cherrigale, sued the pop singer.
The Family's Requests
At this time, while there isn’t a specific amount that the Townsend family is requesting, there is a request to forbid Sheeran from performing his song moving forward. That, coupled with monetary damages, just might leave the United Kingdom native left with a bill of millions.
Per court documents, Sheeran’s lawyers double down on the fact that “Thinking Out Loud” and “Let’s Get It On” aren’t the same and that they are two unique tracks. Furthermore, the 32-year-old’s legal team is requesting that the Townsend family’s claims should not be upheld in court because there is no proof of copyrighting.
Previous Marvin Gaye Copyright Claims
Although Gaye’s family isn’t directly involved in this case, his son, Marvin Gaye III, is keeping a close eye on the situation, according to his lawyer who represented him during the successful lawsuit against Pharrell Williams and Robin Thicke in 2015 for their hit “Blurred Lines.”
“Sadly this case represents another in the long line of instances of artists seeing fit to steal music from other artists,” attorney Paul Philips told Insider. “In this particular case, Mr. Sheeran knows what he did — he misappropriated protected intellectual property directly from the mind of the late, legendary Marvin Gaye. We’re confident this jury will recognize that.”
An official trial against Sheeran began on Monday (April 24) in Manhattan Federal Court.