© Reuters. Singer Ed Sheeran performs at Rockefeller Center in New York, USA 6/6/2023 REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File
Por Blake Brittain
(Reuters) – The heirs of a musician who co-wrote Marvin Gaye’s “Let’s Get It On” have dropped their appeal against a U.S. jury’s verdict that cleared British star Ed Sheeran of allegations that his song “Thinking Out Loud ” illegally copied the American singer’s classic.
A court record showed Wednesday that composer Ed Townsend’s heirs would withdraw the appeal with prejudice, meaning it cannot be filed again.
Representatives for Sheeran, his record label Warner Music Group, his music publisher Sony (NYSE:) Music and Townsend’s heirs did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Thursday.
Townsend’s heirs sued Sheeran, Warner Music and Sony Music for copyright infringement in 2017, alleging that Sheeran’s 2014 hit “Thinking Out Loud” copied the “heart” of Gaye’s 1973 classic, including its melody, harmony and rhythm.
Sheeran’s lawyers argued that any similarities between the songs involved basic musical “building blocks” that could not be protected by copyright.
A jury ruled after a six-day trial in May that Sheeran’s song did not infringe Townsend’s copyright on “Let’s Get It On.” After the trial, Sheeran said the ruling would “help protect the creative process of songwriters here in the United States and around the world.”
Later that month, the judge presiding over the trial ruled that Sheeran also did not infringe part of the copyright of Townsend’s composition, owned by “Bowie Bonds” creator David Pullman’s Structured Asset Sales LLC. Pullman’s company has a separate lawsuit pending against Sheeran based on his rights to the “Let’s Get It On” sound recording.
Structured Asset Sales did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Wednesday’s court filing.
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