Sep 26, 2023 2 min read

Ed Townsend estate drops appeal in 'Thinking Out Loud' song-theft case

The Ed Townsend estate has dropped its appeal in the high profile song-theft case against Ed Sheeran. It had accused him of ripping off Marvin Gaye’s ‘Let’s Get It On’ when he wrote ‘Thinking Out Loud’

Ed Townsend estate drops appeal in 'Thinking Out Loud' song-theft case

The estate of Ed Townsend has dropped an appeal in its song-theft lawsuit against Ed Sheeran, which resulted in that headline-grabbing trial earlier this year.

The estate accused Sheeran of ripping off Marvin Gaye’s ‘Let’s Get It On’ when he wrote his 2014 song ‘Thinking Out Loud’, Townsend being a co-writer on the Gaye classic.

It was the second song-theft lawsuit that Sheeran allowed to get to court, he having also fought off litigation in relation to 'Shape Of You' in the UK courts last year.

In both cases, the Sheeran side argued that pop songs can often sound like other pop songs simply because they are created using the same musical building blocks.

And that is why ‘Thinking Out Loud’ has elements in common with ‘Let’s Get It On’, not because Sheeran and his songwriting pal Amy Wadge directly ripped off the earlier song.

Despite the case taking years to get to court, once both sides had presented their arguments at trial, the jury quickly sided with Team Sheeran.

A few weeks later the Townsend estate filed an appeal in relation to that judgement, but last week they decided to drop the case. The appeal was withdrawn with prejudice, meaning it cannot be refiled.

Commenting on that development late last week, a legal rep for Sheeran told ABC News: "Ed defended this claim, which was always viewed as baseless, through to a jury verdict finding he and Amy Wadge independently created 'Thinking Out Loud,' and was fully prepared to do so through an appeal as well".

"The plaintiffs recognised that an appeal would end up with the verdict being affirmed", she added, "but also with them being exposed to legal fees and costs, and wisely withdrew the appeal".

‘Let’s Get It On’ co-writer’s family drops appeal of Ed Sheeran copyright case
The family of Marvin Gaye’s co-writer on Thursday withdrew its appeal of a verdict that determined Ed Sheeran did not infringe on the copyright for “Let’s Get It On.”
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