Ed Sheeran receives verdict in landmark music copyright case
New York, New York - Ed Sheeran has emerged victorious after a jury found him not guilty in the copyright case over his 2014 song, Thinking Out Loud.
The 32-year-old, who promised to quit music if found guilty of copyright infringement, spoke to the media outside of the New York courtroom following the verdict.
"I'm obviously very happy with the outcome of the case, and it looks like I'm not having to retire from my day job after all," Sheeran said, per PEOPLE.
The lawsuit was brought against the pop star by the heirs of Ed Townsend, the co-writer of Marvin Gaye's 1973 hit Let's Get It On, who alleged that Thinking Out Loud directly copied elements of Gaye's song, particularly the specific four-chord sequence and rhythm.
The jury reached a unanimous verdict on Thursday after three hours of deliberation.
After the win, the Shape of You artist expressed his frustration that it even got to this point, and he emphasized how crucial the ruling is for the entire industry.
"These chords are common building blocks which were used to create music long before Let's Get It On was written and will be used to make music long after we are all gone," he said.
Sheeran won another copyright case last year over his 2017 hit Shape of You, after which he similarly shared his frustrations with the frequency of such lawsuits in the industry today.
Copyright lawsuits on the rise within the music industry
Other popular musicians today have faced copyright lawsuits over their hit songs, including Taylor Swift for Shake It Off and Led Zeppelin for Stairway to Heaven.
The case against Swift was dropped last year, and the court ruled in Led Zeppelin's favor in 2020.
After Thursday's verdict, Sheeran expressed his enthusiasm to get back to his music and begin promoting his fifth album, which drops on Friday.
Cover photo: Alexi J. Rosenfeld / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP