*British pop star Ed Sheeran is being sued for copyright infringement for lifting parts of Marvin Gaye’s “Let’s Get It On” for his track “Thinking Out Loud.”
The 1973 song was co-written by Ed Townsend, whose family filed a lawsuit against Sheeran in 2016, accusing him of lifting the “melody, harmony and rhythmic components” from Gaye’s track, per ABC News.
Sheeran initially responded to the suit by claiming public domain gave him permission to use the chord progressions and drum patterns for “Let’s Get It On.”
During a hearing on Tuesday in front of Sony Records, Townsend’s daughter was joined by music icon George Clinton to fight for Black artists.
“These offenses aren’t just taking place in the streets against black individuals in this country. They’re taking place in the boardrooms. They’re taking place in meetings where there’s no representation,” said Keisha Rice, the attorney for Kathryn Townsend.
“Theft and bullying has been the only priority of the record labels’ agenda. It stops today, Sony, Atlantic and all the rest of them. We’re coming for our 40 acres and a mule plus and interest. And know that we’re not going to be silent. It don’t stop till my casket drop,” said Kathryn Townsend.
“Theft of the music is the new sharecroppers,” said George Clinton. “Not only do they take the music and the land back, they take the 40 acres and the mule back. They get it all from the money that’s being made from IP (intellectual property). So the artists don’t have a chance. I have 20 artists in my band who never got paid for all those samples you heard.”
The hearing for the lawsuit against Sheeran has a trial date set for Nov. 9.
Townsend’s estate is seeking songwriting credit and a portion of the profits from Sheeran’s song.