Home > Judicial Development > Copyright

Ed Sheeran’s “Thinking out loud” copyright battle is over

Post Time:2023-09-28 Source:EUIPO Author: Views:

News broke a few days ago that the heirs of musician Ed Townsend had withdrawn their appeal against the jury's decision to acquit the British singer accused of plagiarising the song written by Townsend and Gaye in their hit "Thinking out loud". 

The withdrawal of the appeal by Townsend's family marks the end of a legal battle that began in 2017, when the musicians Townsend and Gaye sued Ed Sheeran, accusing him of copying the melody, rhythm and harmony of their song "Let's get it on".

It wasn't until April this year that the jury began deliberations in the Manhattan federal court . After a six-day trial, the jury ruled in favour of Sheeran in May, denying that he had copied the song written by Townsend and Gaye. During closing arguments, Sheeran’s lawyer, Ilene Farkas, said the trial should have never happened and that her client had been unfairly accused of copying.

But what seemed like the end of the story for the British singer, was not. Townsend's heirs, unhappy with the jury’s verdict, appealed the decision.

The surprise came when last Wednesday the court announced that the family of songwriter Ed Townsend would withdraw the appeal with prejudice, which means that it cannot be refiled.

Sheeran's lawyer Ilene Farkas on Thursday said the heirs "recognized that an appeal would end up with the verdict being affirmed but also with them being exposed to legal fees and costs, and wisely withdrew."