Ed Sheeran is facing a lawsuit for allegedly ripping off the Marvin Gaye classic "Let's Get It On," which was released back in 1973.
The offending song is "Thinking Out Loud," a track from Sheeran's 2014 album x or Multiply. A company called Structured Asset Sales, which owns a part of the copyright of "Let's Get It On," is bringing the British singer-songwriter to court for $100 million.
Ed Sheeran Sued For Copyright Infringement
The lawsuit claims that David Pullman, an investment banker who was the founder of Structured Asset Sales, made a deal with the son of Ed Townsend, co-writer of "Let's Get It On." Now, the company alleges that they own a third of the copyright of the massive soul/funk hit.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Structured Asset Sales is known for the "Bowie Bonds," named after the late music legend David Bowie. In the late 90s, Pullman dipped his toes into the music industry by securitizing the future royalties of intellectual properties and then selling them to investors.
The "Starman" singer was the first musician who sold off future income from his back catalog for money upfront. Investopedia revealed that he used to purchase old recordings of his own music from a former manager. James Brown and The Isley Brothers also securitized their works.
The heirs of Townsend previously filed a lawsuit against Sheeran for the similarities between "Let's Get It On" and "Thinking Out Loud." However, a U.S. district judge dismissed the case without prejudice in February 2017.
The new lawsuit filed by Structured Asset Sales also names Sony/ATV Music Publishing, Atlantic Records, and co-writer Amy Wadge. It alleges that the Sheeran track copied elements of "Let's Get It On," including melody, rhythms, harmonies, drums, bass line, backing chorus, tempo, syncopation, and looping.
The estate of Marvin Gaye was not named as a plaintiff in the case. It is unclear whether the late music icon's heirs will sue as well.
In 2015, a jury found that Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams copied "Blurred Lines" from "Got To Give It Up." The children of the Motown legend was awarded nearly $7.4 million.
Neither Sheeran nor Sony has issued a statement as of this writing.
Ed Sheeran Sued For The Third Time
The lawsuit follows another copyright infringement claim for "The Rest Of Our Life," a song Sheeran wrote for Tim McGraw and Faith Hill. Two Australian songwriter asserts that the 27-year-old blatantly copied their 2014 song "When I Found You."
The lawsuit was filed in January at a federal court in New York. The plaintiffs are seeking at least $5 million in damages plus running royalty and attorney fees.
In 2016, Sheeran was also accused of copying "Amazing," a song by a winner from the singing competition X-Factor. The infringing song, according to the lawsuit, was "Photograph."