Ed Sheeran Faces More Copyright Infringement Claims Over “Thinking Out Loud”

After years of litigation, Ed Sheeran’s legal battle over “Thinking Out Loud” recently came to an end — or so he thought. The family of Ed Townsend, co-writer of “Let’s Get It On” dropped their suit last week after losing to a jury back in May and appealing the decision. Now, another accuser has stepped forward claiming that Sheeran copied the Marvin Gaye hit in his song.

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The suit brought against Sheeran by Townsend’s family has taken center stage over the years. However, Billboard reports that a second related suit lurked in the shadows. The company Structured Asset Sales brought an almost identical suit against the pop star.

[RELATED: Ed Sheeran’s ‘Thinking Out Loud’ Copyright Battle Finally Ends in His Favor]

The entity owns a one-third stake in Townsend’s copyrights. They also claimed that Sheeran’s “Thinking Out Loud” infringes on the soul classic. A federal judge threw that case out after the jury verdict for the other lawsuit in May. Additionally, the judge stated that Structured Asset Sales was seeking an “impermissible monopoly over a basic musical building block.”

Structured Asset Sales is not ready to throw in the towel, though. On September 29, the company filed an opening brief in the U.S. Court of Appeal for the Second Circuit. The legal team cited errors made by Judge Louis Stanton including his decision on “musical building blocks.”

According to their appeal, the judge refused to let them cite the recorded version of the Marvin Gaye hit in making their case. Instead, the judge ruled that the entity only holds the rights to the “deposit copy” of the song. In other words, the judge stated that they only own the basic notation filed at the Copyright Office to obtain a copyright registration. This distinction, the legal team says, severely limited their rights and hurt their ability to win their case.

“Musical Notation is a way of trying to capture the ephemeral in the physical,” the lawyers wrote. “It is and always has been limited in its ability to capture every nuance of the work,” they added. “Deposit copies do not, and were never meant to be, a limitation on the scope of the copyright they represent.”

Structured Asset Sales lawyers also highlighted the judge’s seemingly sudden decision to dismiss the case instead of letting it go to trial. The legal team called the judge’s logic “a mystery.”

Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images

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