The ongoing dispute sees Sheeran accused of copying Marvin Gaye‘s ‘Let’s Get It On’ on his own single ‘Thinking Out Loud’. Now, Structured Asset Sales have reportedly ordered Sheeran to share his live earnings. The company secure future royalties to musical intellectual property including works by Ed Townsend Jr., who co-wrote the Gaye classic.
It has been requested that the singer-songwriter provides details about his live performances of ‘Thinking Out Loud’ on his ‘Divide’ world tour, including ticket sales and merchandise sold at concerts, according to music-news.com.
US District Court Judge Louis Stanton has partially granted a motion to compel Sheeran’s team to provide the information about concert revenue and expenses.
Sheeran had claimed that a licence from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) warrants live performance of the song. But his motion was rejected earlier this week (January 15).
“(The defendants’) argument lacks a foundation. There is no ‘right’ to infringe. BMI’s and ASCAP’s blanket and venue licenses could not grant a right to infringe, for there never was one. Absent inapplicable exceptions, neither the author nor any licensee of an infringing work has the right to perform it publicly,” said Stanton while outlining his ruling.
“BMI’s and ASCAP’s blanket licenses conveyed to licensees the authors’ rights to perform their songs… They did not convey the consent of any author to play music which infringes his songs. And the licenses do not transform an infringing work into one that could not, as a matter of law, be infringing.”
Sheeran‘s trial over allegedly copying Marvin Gaye’s iconic single is ongoing following delays. In 2018, it was first revealed that a suit had been filed against the ‘Shape Of You’ singer by the family of Ed Townsend, who co-wrote Gaye’s 1973 classic.
They claimed that Sheeran lifted a variety of musical elements from ‘Let’s Get It On – including melody, harmony, and rhythmic components – for his own 2014 single.
A request by Sheeran to dismiss the lawsuit was rejected by Judge Stanton in Manhattan in January 2019. Stanton argued there are “substantial similarities between several of the two works’ musical elements”. He also referenced performances of Sheeran “seamlessly transitioning between [the songs]” to support the reasoning for the suit.
Standon joked in July 2019 that, for those involved in the Sheeran/Gaye lawsuit, they should “take the summer off!” until a similar case between Led Zeppelin and Spirit has been resolved.