Ed Sheeran has said his upcoming album, – (Subtract), was inspired by the “fear, depression and anxiety” he experienced due to, among other things, the copyright trial over his hit “Shape of You.” While Ed won that case, he’s got another copyright trial next month. So far, he’s got one win and one loss when it comes to the evidence.
As Billboard reports, Ed is accused of copying Marvin Gaye‘s classic song “Let’s Get It On” in his Grammy-winning hit “Thinking Out Loud.” A federal judge has now ruled that Ed’s accusers won’t be allowed to stage a live performance of “Let’s Get It On” in the courtroom to show the similarities between the two songs.
Ed’s lawyers had warned that such a performance would “intentionally misrepresent” the song and would be “grounds for a mistrial.” The judge agreed, calling a live performance inadmissible.
While that’s good news for Ed, there’s also bad news: For now, the judge has denied his attorneys’ request to ban a YouTube clip recorded in 2014 from being introduced as evidence. That clip shows Ed performing “Thinking Out Loud” in concert as a medley with “Let’s Get It On.”
Ed’s attorneys said the clip is “falsely incriminating” and will “confuse jurors.” The accusers say the video is “important and critical evidence.”
But there’s a light at the end of the tunnel: While the judge didn’t ban the video, he did say that Ed’s lawyers could raise their objections to it during the trial, which means jurors may not see it after all.
The “Let’s Get It On” case was first filed in 2017 by Gaye’s heirs. Ed’s attorneys argue that the only things the two songs share are “unprotectable and commonplace elements” that aren’t protected by copyright law.
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