Ed Sheeran has taken a unique defense approach in the copyright infringement trial over his hit song "Thinking Out Loud." The Grammy winner played his guitar on the witness stand to demonstrate that his song is not the same as Marvin Gaye's classic "Let's Get It On."
The family of Ed Townsend, co-writer of "Let's Get It On," has sued Sheeran for allegedly copying the sheet music. Sheeran's attorneys argued that the four chord progressions used in the two songs are common in pop music.
They showed a video to support their argument. Sheeran's micro-concert for the court was brief, and he sang a few of the original lyrics from "Thinking Out Loud." This trial is a reminder of the ongoing debate over the limits of copyright protection in the music industry.
• unique : being the only one of its kind
• defense approach : strategy or method used to defend oneself
• copyright infringement : a violation of the exclusive rights of a copyright owner
• witness stand : a raised platform in a courtroom where witnesses testify
• demonstrate : to show or prove something clearly
• classic : a work of art or literature that is of the highest quality and recognized as having lasting significance or worth
• allegedly : reportedly or supposedly
• sheet music : a written or printed form of musical notation
• attorneys : lawyers or legal representatives
• chord progressions : a series of chords played in a particular sequence or order
• pop music : popular music; music that is widely popular and commercially successful
• micro-concert : a very short concert
• brief : short in duration or time
• ongoing : continuous; in progress
• debate : a discussion or argument about a particular topic
• limits : restrictions or boundaries
• copyright protection : legal rights that protect the exclusive use and distribution of creative works in order to prevent unauthorized use or copying