During Ed Sheeran’s federal copyright trial, Kathryn Townsend Griffin, daughter of Ed Townsend, who co-wrote the song ‘Let’s Get it On’ with Marvin Gaye, accused Sheeran of copying parts of his 2014 hit song ‘Thinking Out Loud’ from her father’s classic.
While a music expert was being cross-examined in court, Griffin suddenly collapsed and had to be stretchered out of court after receiving medical attention.
Music expert Alexander Stewart was cross-examined during the trial and noted the similarities between the two hit songs.
He explained that the songs have the same harmonic rhythm and pointed out melodic similarities in the verse, chorus, and interlude. During the testimony, a computer-generated rendition of ‘Let’s Get it On’ was played in court, which took up all of Wednesday.
On Tuesday, Ed Sheeran took the stand and denied any wrongdoing. He stated that he would not perform someone else’s work in front of thousands of fans and would have been ‘quite an idiot’ to do so.
During the trial, Townsend Griffin’s attorney, Ben Crump, showed a video of Sheeran performing a mashup of his and Gaye’s songs during a 2014 concert in Switzerland.
He claimed that this video was a ‘confession’ and referred to it as the ‘smoking gun’ in the lawsuit.
Lawyers for the heirs of Townsend, who are seeking a $100 million payout, showed the video to support their allegation that Sheeran, his label, and music publisher owe them a share of the profits for the song.
The lawsuit is about giving credit where credit is due, according to Crump.
‘Let’s Get It On’ has been heard in countless films and commercials and garnered hundreds of millions of streams, spins, and radio plays since it came out in 1973. ‘Thinking Out Loud’ won a Grammy for song of the year in 2016.
The trial, which began in 2017, is expected to last up to two weeks. Ed Townsend, who also wrote the 1958 R&B doo-wop hit ‘For Your Love,’ was a singer, songwriter, and lawyer.
He died in 2003. The outcome of the trial will determine whether Sheeran’s hit song was an infringement of the copyright of ‘Let’s Get it On.’