Singer Ed Sheeran became emotional and broke down in “tears” after winning a lawsuit over a copyright infringement case.
The singer was accused by Kathryn Townsend Griffin, the daughter of one of the co-writers of Marvin Gaye’s hit song, “Let’s Get It On,” of copying parts of the song for his own hit single “Thinking Out Loud” in 2017.
Townsend argued that there were “striking similarities” between the two tracks, but Sheeran always maintained his innocence.
After a few tumultuous years of the lawsuit, a US jury came to its decision and determined that Sheeran didn’t copy any compositional elements of Gaye’s iconic song.
The musician was thrilled and relieved with the verdict and addressed the press outside the courthouse, where he issued an emotional statement about the ordeal.
“I’m obviously very happy with the outcome of the case,” he said. “But at the same time, I am unbelievably frustrated that baseless claims like this are allowed to go to court at all.” He continued, “If the jury had decided this matter the other way, we might as well say goodbye to the creative freedom of songwriters.”
Sheeran had always maintained his innocence, and his lawyers argued that similarities between the songs involved basic musical “building blocks” that couldn’t be copyrighted.
The singer also sang parts of the 2014 song during parts of his testimony to make his case.
In her CNN interview following the verdict, Amy Wadge, the co-writer of “Thinking Out Loud,” said it felt like a huge weight had been lifted off her shoulder. “It was just the most unbelievable relief and like seven years of stress just leaving my body,” she said, adding that both she and Sheeran “had a few tears” of relief.
Sheeran also had some choice words for individuals who were “offered as music experts in musical analysis” and used “misleading comparisons and disinformation to find supposed similarities where none exist.”
“I’m very grateful that the jury saw through those attempts,” Sheeran said. “Unfortunately, unfounded claims like this are being fuelled by individuals who are offered as music experts in musical analysis.”
Sheeran had been so confident in his innocence that he promised to quit the music industry if found guilty of plagiarizing the song.
The singer joked about his earlier threat, saying, “It looks like I’m not going to have to give up my day job after all.”