×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Ed Sheeran Sued Again Over ‘Thinking Out Loud’ — This Time for $100 Million

Ed Sheeran has injected millions of dollars into the music business via his enormously popular songs and tours — and for copyright-infringement lawsuits. Following a $20 million suit over his song “Photograph” (which was settled out of court) another over “The Rest of Our Life,” which he composed for Tim McGraw and Faith Hill (which Sheeran has asked to have dismissed), here comes another over “Thinking Out Loud.” Owners of that song’s copyright claims that it lifts from Marvin Gaye’s 1972 classic “Let’s Get It On” and are seeking $100 million in damages.

But whereas the last major lawsuit involving a Gaye composition successfully pitted his estate against Robin Thicke, Pharrell Williams and others — the “Blurred Lines” decision, which resulted in $5.3 million in damages awarded to the family — this one is led by investment banker David Pullman (yes, the man behind Bowie Bonds) and a company called Structured Asset Sales, which has acquired one-third of the song’s shares. It was unclear at press time whether Gaye’s family will sue as well.

And while an earlier lawsuit brought by Townsend’s family was rejected, the company filed a new lawsuit on Thursday alleging that Sheeran and cowriter Amy Wadge and other defendants “copied and exploited, without authorization or credit, the ‘Let’s Get it On’ composition” … copying various elements “including but not limited to the melody, rhythms, harmonies, drums, bass line, backing chorus, tempo, syncopation and looping.”

The suit then goes into copious detail, including musical notation and more, laying out similarities between the two songs. And while the previous lawsuit over the song was rejected, as Thicke and Pharrell discovered to their considerable disadvantage, if such cases go before a jury, all bets are off: Jurors in such cases are rarely musical experts and similarities based on gut — or as the “Blurred Lines” decision put it, “feel” — instead of musical notation can carry the day.

More Music

  • Editorial use only. No book cover

    Interscope Films Relaunches With Full Slate at Tribeca (EXCLUSIVE)

    The Interscope record label’s interest in film/music crossover isn’t exactly a secret: With hit companion albums for “A Star Is Born,” “Black Panther” and “La La Land,” they’ve seemed to own the soundtrack space at times in recent years. And the company hasn’t completely made a secret of its desire to move into film production. [...]

  • Madonna Releases "Medellín" Music Video: Watch

    Madonna Drops a Sexy and Surreal Video for 'Medellín'

    It’s no surprise that the elaborate “Madame X” concept surrounding Madonna’s forthcoming album of the same name is beginning to make more sense with the release of the video from the album’s first single. It elaborates on the album’s themes, which she previous aired in a series of Instagram clips (check them out for yourself [...]

  • This combination photo shows, from left,

    Justin Bieber and Ariana Grande Address Coachella Lip-Sync Controversy

    When Justin Bieber joined Ariana Grande on stage at the Coachella Festival Sunday night to perform his hit “Sorry,” there was little doubt in anyone’s mind about whether it was completely live, especially after both made a point of mentioning that he’d showed up with no intention of performing and there’d been no rehearsal. Fans [...]

  • Lizzo Coachella Valley Music and Arts

    Lizzo Joins Cardi B and Jennifer Lopez in Stripper Film 'Hustlers'

    After the release of her third album and a pair of high-profile Coachella performances, Lizzo announced today that she will be joining Cardi B and Jennifer Lopez in the stripper-themed film “Hustlers.” Based on a true story, the film focuses on strippers who band together to turn the tables on their wealthy Wall Street male [...]

  • Cameron Crowe, David Crosby in Park

    Cameron Crowe on Putting 'the Most Colorful Life Ever,' David Crosby's, on Screen

    Cameron Crowe jokes that David Crosby is following his career path. The star’s frankness and tell-it-like-it-is demeanor has resulted in Rolling Stone magazine’s invitation to set up the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer’s next act as a rock Dear Abby of sorts with his new column: “Ask Croz.” “Isn’t that great?” says Crowe, the Oscar-winning [...]

  • Childish Gambino 'Pharos" AR App Launches

    Childish Gambino Releases 'Pharos' AR App for Android Phones

    Childish Gambino is taking his “Pharos” multimedia franchise to a new platform: Donald Glover’s alter ego released a “Pharos” augmented reality (AR) app for Android phones Wednesday morning, with an iOS version forthcoming at a later time. The app allows users to open up an AR portal in their living room (or where ever else [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content