A federal judge has refused to throw out the $100 million lawsuit against Ed Sheeran over whether or not his hit “Thinking Out Loud” stole pieces of Marvin Gaye’s “Let’s Get It On.” Instead, the long-running case will proceed to a jury.
Judge Louis Stanton ruled Thursday that there was “no bright-line rule” for deciding the issues; instead, a jury will need to weigh in.
“There is no bright-line rule that the combination of two unprotectable elements is insufficiently numerous to constitute an original work,” Judge Stanton wrote. “A work may be copyrightable even though it is entirely a compilation of unprotectable elements.”
Billboard reports that the case will now head to trial in a Manhattan federal courthouse sometime in the future. No date has been set.
The lawsuit was first filed in 2016 by the estate of the song’s late co-writer, Ed Townsend. The suit was later dismissed but revived when Townsend’s family sold a third of their share of “Let’s Get It On” to Structured Asset Sales.
Sheeran is no stranger to copyright infringement claims. The singer and his co-writers, Steve McCutcheon and Snow Patrol’s Johnny McDaid, won their plagiarism lawsuit regarding the hit record “Shape Of You.” They were accused of stealing Sami Chokri and Ross O’Donoghue’s “Oh Why.”
Sheeran was awarded more than $1 million in legal fees.