After a federal jury found in favor of Ed Sheeran in his “Thinking Out Loud” copyright infringement lawsuit, one plaintiff is still attempting to appeal the ruling.

Ed Sheeran was acquitted in a long-running legal struggle over his Grammy-winning smash “Thinking Out Loud” and whether he and his collaborators infringed on the copyright of the Marvin Gaye classic, “Let’s Get It On.” Structured Assets, which owns one-third of Gaye’s legendary song, has now filed its own appeal in the original copyright infringement claim.

The lawsuit was initially filed by the estate of Marvin Gaye co-writer Ed Townsend, who claimed Sheeran’s song was deliberately plagiarized from their own. Much to Sheeran’s relief, a federal jury decided in May that he was not guilty of copyright infringement. The Townsend estate, however, filed an appeal, which Sheeran’s legal team defeated in September when the claim was dismissed outright.

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Structured Assets has now filed its own appeal, claiming that the lower court judge’s decisions in the courtroom cost them the case. Structured Assets aims to have a specific performance by Sheeran accepted into the appeals court proceedings, in which he mashes up the two songs in the courtroom during cross-examination, among other things.

“The district court’s erroneous decisions should be reversed, and appellant’s case restored so that it can proceed to trial,” states Structured Assets. “Musical notation is a method of attempting to capture the ephemeral in the physical, but it is and always has been limited in its ability to capture every nuance of the work.” Deposit copies do not and were never intended to limit the scope of the copyright that they represent.”

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“The district court erred when it adopted the (ruling) and held that the scope of the (‘Let’s Get It On’) copyright registration was strictly limited by the handwritten sheet music ‘deposit copy’ filed by Townsend in 1973,” Structured Assets continued with their application.

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“The district court erred again when it prohibited (Plaintiffs) from amending the complaint to add a copyright registration for the same musical composition based on the (‘Let’s Get It On’) sound recording, and again when it prohibited (Plaintiffs) musicology experts from opining and testifying as to how skilled musicians would play that sheet music, either of which would have addressed the problems the district court created by its ‘deposit copy’ ruling.”

This is the second time Structured Assets has filed a complaint against Sheeran for stealing a chord progression from Marvin Gaye’s hit. In May, a federal judge dismissed the first complaint filed against Sheeran.


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