Ed Sheeran sued for $100 million over Marvin Gaye copyright infringement

Mike P Williams
Contributor

Singer Ed Sheeran is being sued for $100 million (that’s around £76.3 million) over Marvin Gaye copyright infringement.

The star, 27, is accused of ripping parts of the late Marvin Gaye’s Let’s Get It On to use on his own mega hit Thinking Out Loud.

Legal documents suggest that Sheeran has stolen elements from the 1973 classic, citing reasons for legal action relating to ‘the melody, rhythms, harmonies, drums, bass line, backing chorus, tempo, syncopation and looping’.

The family of Ed Townsend – the man who co-wrote the song – first took action against the singer back in the summer of 2016, alleging he’d nicked key parts of the song and were owed damages. It’s not known whether this case was ever resolved.

Ed Sheeran is being sued for allegedly stealing parts of a Mavin Gaye song. (PA)

This initial complaint happened after he’d already been accused by two US artists,  Thomas Leonard and Martin Harrington, of copying the song Amazing for his popular single Photograph, suing him for $20 million. The case was subsequently settled.

This time a company called Structured Asset Sales are the ones taking action, who are part owners of the copyright of Gaye’s song in question.

Gaye, who passed away in 2003, co-wrote the song with Townsend as Structured Asset Sales purchased a one third stake in its copyright.

Robin Thicke and Farrell Williams were also sued by the Gaye family over their 2013 song Blurred Lines. The family accused the artists of copying the soul singer’s Got To Give It Up and won their legal battle. They were awarded £5.5 million that was later reduced to £4 million, with the artist’s lawyer declaring that this set a ‘horrible precedent’.

Thicke recently tweeted a joke to Sheeran about being sued over the same artist’s catalogue’

‘Hey @edsheeran, call me,’ he quipped.


Sheeran’s worth in 2017, according to Celebrity Net Worth, was estimated at around £49 million, so being sued for significantly greater than he’s worth is more than a Small Bump in his accumulated wealth.

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