Ed Sheeran Copyright Verdict Appeal Dropped by ‘Let’s Get It On’ Cowriter’s Heirs

Sheeran won a court battle in May after he was accused of stealing the Marvin Gaye classic

Ed Sheeran
Ed Sheeran (Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images)

The heirs of Marvin Gaye’s cowriter for “Let’s Get It On” have given up their quest to overturn the jury verdict that found pop star Ed Sheeran did not steal the song when he wrote his hit, “Thinking Out Loud.”

In a one-page court filing, the estate of songwriter Ed Townsend withdrew its appeal of the May verdict with prejudice, which means it cannot be refiled, Reuters reported. No reason was given for dropping the effort by the litigious heirs.

Sheeran won the copyright case after a weeklong trial in Manhattan federal court. The jury deliberated for just three hours to find that the song off Sheeran’s sophomore album “X” (pronounced “multiply”) did not copy the 1973 R+B classic.

During the case, originally filed in 2017, Sheeran testified in his own defense, taking his guitar on the stand with him. He played the instrument for the jury to demonstrate the common chord progressions he used in “Thinking Out Loud,” and how they are similar to those of many other pop songs — from artists like Nina Simone, Bill Withers and Van Morrison — in addition to “Let’s Get It On.”

Townsend’s heirs previously won suits accusing Pharrell Williams and Robin Thicke of copying “Blurred Lines,” from Gaye’s 1977 song “Got To Give It Up.”

The “Bad Habits” singer had threatened to quit music if he was found liable of copyright infringement. “If that happens, I’m done, I’m stopping,” he said.

Sheeran previously faced a separate copyright-infringement claim for his song “Shape of You” off of the album “Divide,” which he won. He also settled a claim that his song “Photograph” copied Matt Cardle’s song “Amazing.”

Representatives for Sheeran’s label Warner Music Group, and his music publisher Sony Music did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Thursday.

Patrick Frank, the attorney for the Townsend estate, also did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Sheeran’s attorney, Ilene Farkas, said in a statement, “Ed defended this claim, which was always viewed as baseless, through to a jury verdict finding he and Amy Wadge independently created ‘Thinking Out Loud,’ and was fully prepared to do so through an appeal as well,” ABC News reported. “The plaintiffs recognized that an appeal would end up with the verdict being affirmed but also with them being exposed to legal fees and costs, and wisely withdrew the appeal.”

Sheeran early Thursday posted a video on Twitter of him singing “American Town,” to actor Courtney Cox. In the clip he told her the song was inspired by her sitcom, “Friends.” He’ll be performing on Amazon Music Live Thursday at 9 p.m. PT.