Let’s… think out loud? Ed Sheeran sued by co-writer of Marvin Gaye hit
22 August 2016 by Ashton Carter
Ed Sheeran, the man who remains on a performance-hiatus after his record-breaking world tour last year, is having his peace and quiet disturbed, by news of legal proceedings being commenced by the co-writer of the legendary Marvin Gaye track ‘Lets’ (get it on).
It is alleged by said co-writer: Mr Townsend, that Ed Sheeran’s multi-platinum, global hit copies, the core of ‘Lets’ and repeats it continuously throughout the song.
The direct quote from the allegations made are that:
“The melodic, harmonic, and rhythmic compositions of ‘Thinking’ are substantially and/or strikingly similar to the drum composition of ‘Lets’,”
Whilst comment is awaited from the Sheeran camp, this is not the first time they have found themselves in hot water over material originality – with proceedings ongoing by a pair of US-based musicians who are seeking $20m (£13.8m) in relation to allegations that Sheerans’ single ‘Photograph’, copies their song.
Given the global success of the tracks in question, the fundamental value of these clause, which in the main do not include royalties, could be ground-breaking in the remit of copyright proceedings.
Furthermore, in the event that the current claims against Sheeran do not make it to Court, there could be scope for the originating artist to be credited to the track(s) concerned, as with recent settlement proceedings involving artist Sam Smith and Mark Ronson.
The current allegations are demonstrating the increasingly-prevalent importance placed upon artistic copyright, how to document the creation of this and more importantly, how to protect and regulate the use of such copyright.
If you or your business operates within the music and another artistic industry and wishes to protect its property, intellectual property and copyright, we here at Fisher Jones Greenwood LLP can assist. Please contact our Corporate Commercial Department on 01245 584515 or [email protected]