Ed Sheeran Copyright Trial Delayed Until “Stairway to Heaven” Decision Is Reached
Ed Sheeran’s legal battle with Marvin Gaye co-writer Ed Townsend will continue after a judge cancelled an upcoming jury trial scheduled for September. In 2016, the U.K. native was sued by Townsend, who claimed that Sheeran had plagiarized significant portions of his and Marvin Gaye’s 1973 song “Let’s Get It On” on his 2014 hit “Thinking Out Loud.” On Tuesday, Manhattan District Judge Louis Stanton cancelled the case’s trial in an effort to wait for results in a similar copyright case with Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven,” as Rolling Stone and BBC report.
According to Law360, Stanton said that the two parities should “take the summer off,” and that they will be summoned after the Zeppelin case is decided. The English rock group is currently in a heated legal battle with the California band Spirit, who claim that “Stairway to Heaven” plagiarized aspects of their 1968 song “Taurus.” The case is will be reheard in September after over three years of flip-flopping verdicts have resulted in the case being brought to the the U.S. Supreme Court.
In January, Sheeran’s request to dismiss the lawsuit was denied. In his initial decision, the judge wrote that there exists “substantial similarities between several of the two works’ musical elements,” and that jurors “may be impressed by footage of a Sheeran performance which shows him seamlessly transitioning between [both songs].” Both cases follow a 2015 ruling awarded to Gaye’s estate over the Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams song “Blurred Lines,” which bears resemblance to Gaye’s 1977 song “Got to Give It Up.”
Hear the two songs in question below.