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Sheeran Wins Copyright Case

British singer Ed Sheeran prevailed in a lawsuit alleging copyright infringement, with a jury deciding yesterday his song "Thinking Out Loud" did not steal from R&B artist Marvin Gaye's 1973 hit "Let's Get It On." Sheeran's 2014 song hit No. 1 on the UK charts and No. 2 on the US Billboard Hot 100.

At issue was a chord progression in Sheeran's song that heirs to the estate of Ed Townsend, who cowrote "Let's Get It On" with Gaye, argued were similar enough to have essentially been lifted from the hit (watch breakdown). Sheeran's defense argued the lawsuit was effectively attempting to monopolize a series of chords that have been widely used in various musical genres, including before Gaye's hit song five decades ago.

The case came amid an increase in musical copyright lawsuits in recent years; read an overview here.

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