Ed Sheeran faces further litigation over his song “Thinking Out Loud,” as music industry executive David Pullman’s company Structured Asset Sales continues to press its lawsuit against the pop star.
Structured Asset Sales attended an opening briefing at the U.S. Court of Appeal for the Second Circuit on Friday, citing a range of alleged errors by Judge Louis Stanton in the first case, which Stanton dismissed in May. That initial copyright battle was launched by the daughter of Ed Townsend and was dismissed when a jury cleared Sheeran of any wrongdoing, according to Billboard. Structured Asset Sales controls a one-third stake in Townsend’s copyrights.
Both lawsuits allege that Sheeran’s song copies parts of Marvin Gaye’s 1973 hit “Let’s Get It On,” which Townsend co-wrote.
Ed Sheeran was found not liable in his “Thinking Out Loud” copyright lawsuit. Hear the statement he read to reporters! pic.twitter.com/TuVyXTZ59n
— E! News (@enews) May 5, 2023
“The district court’s erroneous decisions should be reversed, and appellant’s case restored so that it can proceed to trial,” Structured Asset Sales’ attorneys argued in a brief to the appeals court, according to Billboard.
In the brief, the lawyers take issue with Judge Stanton’s refusal to let them cite the famous recorded version of “Let’s Get It On” in the initial case. Stanton ruled that Structured Asset Sales only owned the rights to a “deposit copy,” the basic musical notation filed at the Copyright Office decades ago to secure a copyright registration. (RELATED: ‘I’m Done, I’m Stopping’: Famous Singer Threatens To End His Career Over Lawsuit)
“Musical notation is a way of trying to capture the ephemeral in the physical, but it is and has always been limited in its ability to capture every nuance of the work,” the attorneys argued.
Sheeran has not publicly commented on this latest development, though he did take the stand in his own defense in May. During his testimony, Sheeran denied copying anything from Gaye’s song and called the allegation “really insulting.”