Ed Sheeran triumphs in copyright lawsuit over Marvin Gaye’s ‘Let’s Get It On.’ Again.

Ed Sheeran in a suit smiling
Ed Sheeran beat a second lawsuit alleging his song “Thinking Out Loud” copied Marvin Gaye’s “Let’s Get It On.”
(John Minchillo / Associated Press)

Thinking out loud, it seems Ed Sheeran is enjoying a legal victory lap.

Weeks after a New York jury found he did not plagiarize Marvin Gaye‘s “Let’s Get It On,” Sheeran was cleared of a similar lawsuit filed by Structured Asset Sales.

In 2018, SAS alleged Sheeran’s 2014 song “Thinking Out Loud” lifted parts from Gaye’s 1973 hit. SAS “purchased one-third of the copyright” to Gaye’s song and sought $100 million in damages, according to Pitchfork.

Ed Sheeran did not plagiarize Marvin Gaye’s classic ‘Let’s Get It On,’ a jury decided Thursday. The Grammy winner was accused of stealing part of Gaye’s song.

May 4, 2023

In legal documents filed Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Louis Stanton dismissed the lawsuit finding Sheeran and “Thinking Out Loud” co-writer Amy Wadge did not plagiarize parts of Gaye’s song.


“It is an unassailable reality that the chord progression and harmonic rhythm in ‘Let’s Get It On’ are so commonplace, in isolation and in combination, that to protect their combination would give ‘Let’s Get It On’ an impermissible monopoly over a basic musical building block,” the legal document said.

In a statement shared with The Times Thursday, Sheeran’s legal representative Ilene Farkas celebrated the ruling.

‘I have a real eating problem,’ Ed Sheeran says. The musician detailed fraught relationships with food, alcohol, drugs and his body for Rolling Stone.

March 23, 2023

“Judge Stanton’s conclusion that Ed Sheeran and Amy Wadge did not infringe is consistent with the jury determination that Ed and Amy independently created ‘Thinking Out Loud,’” the statement continued. “This is an important victory not only for Ed and Amy and all songwriters but also for the music loving public.”

SAS founder, chairman and CEO David Pullman told The Times in a phone call Thursday that his company plans to appeal Tuesday’s decision on multiple grounds.

“In a case we have going forward before a different judge in New York federal court ... we have both the deposit copy from 1973 [of Gaye’s song] — the sheet music, as well as the sound recordings,” Pullman said. “All through this trial and this case that we’ve had, the defendants have been terrified and are afraid of going against the original sound recording of ‘Let’s Get It On.’”

Ed Sheeran threatened to quit music if he loses his trial in which he’s accused of plagiarizing Marvin Gaye’s classic “Let’s Get It On.”

May 3, 2023

If there’s a sense of déjà vu around Tuesday’s decision, it’s most likely because the Grammy winner’s legal victory came just weeks after he won a similar lawsuit earlier this month.


Following a weeklong trial, a New York jury sided with the hitmaker in the lawsuit brought by Gaye collaborator Ed Townsend’s family in 2016.

In a statement outside of the New York courthouse, Sheeran said he was “obviously very happy” with the result.

“It looks like I’m not having to retire from my day job after all,” he joked, recalling a dramatic statement he made during the trial. “But at the same time, I’m unbelievably frustrated that baseless claims like this are allowed to go to court at all.”

Sheeran’s subdued new LP is the culmination of a long year for the singer, who faced a very public copyright lawsuit, the death of a friend and family trauma.

May 8, 2023

A day after winning the lawsuit, Sheeran treated New York fans to an impromptu concert in Soho. Outside his American Express pop-up store, Sheeran climbed to the top of a car with a guitar in tow and performed his new song “Boat” for a swarm of fans.

Sheeran’s recent legal wins have coincided with the promotion of his new album “Subtract” (“-”), which dropped May 5.

“Sheeran’s singing, with its intricately bent notes and its sense of a sob held just in check, is so vivid that the truth of his experience always comes through,” Times critic Mikael Wood wrote of the new release.