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Ed Sheeran sued for copying Marvin Gaye Let's Get It On

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by OldDog52, Jun 29, 2018.

  1. I had to see if it's the same lawyer getting filthy rich off suing Iron Maiden was involved. He's not.

    Seems to be quite a popular thing these days.
  2. ficelles

    ficelles Supporting Member

    Feb 28, 2010
    Devon, England
    What a bottom feeder that lawyer is! He should watch out, Bruce Dickinson might have type rating for F18s...
    Luciferiad likes this.
  3. You see he's now representing Maiden's (second? they had a few before Di'Anno) singer Dennis Willcock, who's suing because has left off writing credits for a bunch of stuff on the first album? He claims he co-wrote them but Harris left him out when they had moved on and recorded them with Di'Anno.
  4. Edgar


    Nov 4, 2000
    Montreal, QC, CA
    Coming late into the thread but, if you've never compared James Gang Funk #49 (James Gang Rides Again, 1970) with Kenny Loggins's Footloose (Footloose EP, 1984)... you're in for quite a surprise. :)

    AFAIK, nobody got sued.
  5. hrodbert696

    hrodbert696 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    This is a travesty of copyright law. That law is supposed to protect the right of an creator to benefit from his creativity. If he dies before copyright expires, sure, rights can be inherited. But this is a lawyer with an investment company who has bought a third of the estate of the Marvin Gaye song's co-author. That seems like pretty shaky standing for a copyright infringement claim - or at least, it ought to be.

    Besides which, rhythms and chord progressions are not supposed to hold copyright claims. They are part of the vocabulary of all music. As others have pointed out, you can come up with a bunch of different songs that are similar. That doesn't make them copyright infringements, just similar.
    Ikkir, Jhengsman and TheEmptyCell like this.
  6. TheEmptyCell

    TheEmptyCell Bearded Dingwall Enthusiast Banned

    Sales? Hah, nobody buys music anymore. But you better believe both songs are seeing an uptick in streams as people compare the two.
    Pbassmanca likes this.
  7. ficelles

    ficelles Supporting Member

    Feb 28, 2010
    Devon, England
    When these kind of people get involved, music is just a commodity to be exploited.
    Pbassmanca, Pacman and hrodbert696 like this.
  8. ficelles

    ficelles Supporting Member

    Feb 28, 2010
    Devon, England
    I still do, do I get an award? :) Although I do mostly buy vintage vinyl so I guess I'm not helping the original artists much...
    Pbassmanca likes this.
  9. nozkcb


    Jan 23, 2009

    Oops, I was initially comparing the wrong Ed Sheeran song by mistake. The cord progression tempo and groove is virtually identical to let's get it on. It is a total rip off, hands down.

    Not an Ed Sheeran fan, and as much as I don't want to defend him, I have to agree this is not very much like the Marvin Gaye song. This song is in 6/8, Marvin Gaye's song is 4/4, the progression is not exactly the same and the melody is quite different.
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2018
    Ikkir likes this.
  10. FilterFunk

    FilterFunk Everything is on the ONE! Supporting Member

    Mar 31, 2010
    James Brown was not known for melodies. I like to think that JB's music is to groove what the Beatles' music is to melody.

    Take "Sex Machine," for instance. There's sort of a melody to the vocals, but if you take the vocals out, what's to stop someone from lifting the music virtually note for note if only melody is copyrightable? Are groove and rhythm innovators less protected then melody innovators?

    Both James Brown and the Beatles profoundly changed the face of music forever. Are the Beatles' works more worthy of copyright protection than JB's?

    I know there's a Copyright Form SR that's designed to protect the sound recording and the underlying work. What I don't know is how far it actually goes to protect the music beyond the lyrics and melody.

    It's complicated.:confused:
    5StringBlues and Blu bro like this.
  11. GZboat


    Feb 16, 2017
    Not particularly an Ed Sheeran fan (though I don't dislike his music) and a songwriter myself (so I completely support intellectual property rights), but I'm not hearing the infraction here. Perspective: There are only 13 notes in the western diatonic scale and only a limited number of chord progressions that "work", especially for the ears of popular music audiences. It's a big number, but still finite. Same is true for rhythm patterns. Do you REALLY think there is much of anything new out there? After several hundred years of mining the same veins? Not bloody likely. If I were Ed's lawyers (and he can afford good ones), I'd do a ton of research and find the precursors to the elements of "Let's Get It On" he's being sued over. They are assuredly out there. I am a HUGE Marvin Gaye fan. He was one of the truly groundbreaking artists of the 20th century and I'd never want to see his work ripped off. I am quite certain he'd have been open about building on the shoulders of predecessors. I think it's very telling that his estate isn't touching this. They know the difference between the sharing and borrowing that's been a part of music creation from time immemorial and plagiarism. This is nothing but a bottom-feeding, no-talent, non-musician parasite looking for a payday.
  12. Copyright last at least 50 years after the copyright holder dies.
  13. 7615


    Nov 19, 2015

    Why do they bury lawyers face down? To see where they are going.

    Or the lawyer who told Peter at the pearly gates that there must be a mistake as he was in the prime of his life to which St Peter replied - "Not according to your billing hours".
    SactoBass likes this.
  14. 7615


    Nov 19, 2015
    It has nothing to do with the chord progression (straw man argument) - its has to do with the tune (the melody - the phrasing, harmony-etc)

    If he took it he should pay.

    12 notes times an infinite number of rhythmic combinations - essentially there is no need to plagiarize unless one can't come up with something.
  15. Kevin Colt

    Kevin Colt

    Feb 9, 2015
    Bokeelia, Fl.
    didn't George Harrison get sued for my sweet lord by the (*) that sang he's so fine. that was a stretch to me.
  16. I majored in music in college (a long time ago) and remember one of my composition profs saying that every melody, chord progression, and rhythm had been composed by the 14th century. She didn't source that thought that I can remember but my only question would be why it took that long.
    Jhengsman and Edgar like this.
  17. I think with the Blurred lines case what did it was singer Robin Thicke said in an interview that they were just trying to get a Marvin Gaye groove on.... and it is very similar to the Marvin Gaye song.... This Ed Sheeran track is nowhere hear it in my opinion

    But I do remember in the 1970's John Foggerty was sued because his song 'The old man down the road' was too similar to a CCR song - which incidentally Foggerty had also written
  18. Toneguy66


    Mar 3, 2014
    If anyone should get sued for reusing a chord progression and melody/feel, it should be John Mayer’s blatant theft of People Get Ready he called “Waiting on the world to Change”. That being said, people have been making music for about 4,000 years, so we’ve run out of truly original progressions and melodies so everyone should just chill out already.
  19. gleneg61


    Jan 10, 2008
    Osaka Japan
    With only 12 notes in the western scale, there’s bound to be some repetition of parts from a patchwork of songs. Both songs share the 1,3,4,5 chord progression in the verse/chorus format but the bridge is completely different and while the tempo and syncopation is also similar, I’m not convinced this will stand up in court and if it does, then woe betide anyone with a creative bent and they’d better have a legal team behind them before publicly displaying their wares on YouTube. My 2-chome
  20. gleneg61


    Jan 10, 2008
    Osaka Japan

    Case in point

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