Ed Sheeran Faces Appeal Following Recent ‘Thinking Out Loud’ Copyright Infringement Victory

Ed Sheeran appeal
  • Save

Ed Sheeran appeal
  • Save
Photo Credit: Eva Rinaldi / CC by 2.0

Ed Sheeran faces an appeal from the family of Marvin Gaye’s ‘Let’s Get It On’ co-writer following his recent ‘Thinking Out Loud’ copyright infringement victory.

Following Ed Sheeran’s victory in the copyright infringement case involving the singer-songwriter’s “Thinking Out Loud,” the family of Marvin Gaye’s co-writer on “Let’s Get It On” intends to appeal the verdict in Manhattan federal court. The family of Ed Townsend has filed a notice of appeal, according to a court filing on Thursday.

While the document did not say on what grounds the Townsend family would appeal, it did signal that the family would challenge the verdict and several rulings made by the judge.

The court ruled in Sheeran’s favor during the trial in May when they found that the singer did not engage in willful copyright infringement. Sheeran played his guitar and sang in court to demonstrate the prevalence of the chord progression in question.

“I’m obviously very happy with the outcome of the case. And it looks like I’m not having to retire from my day job after all,” said Sheeran outside the courthouse after winning his case. “But at the same time, I’m unbelievably frustrated that baseless claims like this are allowed to go to court at all.”

Sheeran testified that he wrote most of his songs in a day, suggesting under questioning by his attorney that he did not “stop to think” about copying elements of “Let’s Get It On” when composing “Thinking Out Loud,” as alleged by the Townsend estate.

Townsend’s family alleged that Sheeran copied the “Let’s Get It On” sheet music and propped up the case as “justice” for Townsend and Gaye’s legacies and for Black musicians whose work is misappropriated by white artists.

Sheeran also won a 2022 copyright infringement suit involving his song “Shape of You,” while Gaye’s heirs — who are not involved in the current lawsuit — won a case in 2015 against Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams over “Got to Give It Up.”