Why Ed Sheeran’s Trial Victory is a Win for Montanans (Opinion)
A Manhattan jury determined Marvin Gaye's song "Let's Get It On" wasn't copied by Ed Sheeran's song "Thinking Out Loud," and I'm so relieved— not just as a musician or as a music listener, but even as a Montanan.
This article has from PopCrush has a detailed summary of the trial, but the gist is that "Thinking Out Loud" was alleged to be copy of "Let's Get It On" based on the (true) fact that the two songs share a four-chord progression. If Sheeran had lost, that could've opened the floodgates for countless lawsuits in the music industry because many, many songs have the same chord progression. Check out the video below for some examples:
So how is the New York jury's decision a win for Montanans? A lot of reasons. Montana's the home of many musicians, probably most of which couldn't afford to fight the lawsuits by mega-rich celebrities who'd now rather try to make money in the courtroom than in the music studio like they used to.
This is also a win for Montana's music fans. If the jury decided sharing a mere chord progression is enough to consider a song a copy, the risk big money as well as hours and hours in court would stifle creativity. On top of that, Sheeran said that if he lost the decision, he'd quit music. So all of his fans in Montana can breathe a sigh of relief. To celebrate, let's throw on "Thinking Out Loud" at full volume, and maybe do a little dance just because.
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