Pop star Ed Sheeran will have to stand A trial in the US over assertions that he copied his hit song “Thinking Out Loud” from Marvin Gaye’s “Let’s Get It On.”
Sheeran’s legal team once asked Judge Louis Stanton, who presides over the Southern District of New York, to disregard the case as the similar parts of the song were “commonplace.”
However, Judge Stanton ruled on Thursday that the case is heading to court.
The new trial comes six months after Sheeran was cleared of copying his hit song “Shape Of You” at a trial in London.
“There is no bright-line rule that the combination of two unprotectable elements is insufficiently numerous to constitute an original work. A work may be copyrightable even though it is entirely a compilation of unprotectable elements,” Judge Stanton said.
Structured Asset Sales (SAS) owns a partial stake in the famous song and is striving for an enormous $100 million in damages. Hillel Parness, an attorney for SAS, told Reuters that the company is “pleased” with the ruling.
“Although the two musical compositions are not identical, a jury could find that the overlap between the songs’ combination of chord progression and harmonic rhythm is very close,” Judge Stanton added.
According to the initial suit, SAS claims that Sheeran’s chord progression in “Thinking Out Loud” is too identical to “Let’s Get It On.”
A trial date is not yet set but will take place in the Manhattan Federal Court.
“Thinking Out Loud” peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 in February 2015, while “Let’s Get It On” hit No. 1 in September 1973.