‘Let’s Get It On . . .’ Again: Ed Sheeran Faces New Copyright Suit for Marvin Gaye Classic

Steven T. Lowe

On March 31st, 2021, U.S. District Judge Ronnie Abrams denied a motion to dismiss a copyright infringement lawsuit against singer-songwriter sensation Ed Sheeran over his hit song “Thinking Out Loud.” Structured Asset Sales, who owns the recording of “Let’s Get It On” by Marvin Gaye, filed the suit on June 8th, 2020, alleging (again) that Sheeran’s song infringes upon the Marvin Gaye classic.

The “Let’s Get It On” musical composition, written and produced by Townsend and Marvin Gaye, was initially registered with the United States Copyright Office in 1973. However, only the sheet music was given to the copyright office, and thus only the sheet music was awarded protection. So, when Structured Asset first sued Sheeran in 2018, a federal court judge ruled that the copyright registration didn’t cover Gaye’s recorded version and dismissed the case.

But that wasn’t the last time we would hear from Structured Assets Sales. After filing for entirely new copyright registration, this time citing the famous recorded track as its “deposit copy,” Structured Asset Sales came back with a vengeance and armed with a new copyright.

Structured Asset Sales’ new 2020 copyright, which includes the actual recording of “Let’s Get It On,” is dragging Sheeran and his record label Sony Music Entertainment back to the courtroom.

In an attempt to escape liability, Sheeran and Sony Music Entertainment filed a motion to dismiss on August 28th, 2020. Sheeran and Sony argued that the new copyright registration obtained by Structured Asset Sales was prohibited because Structured Asset Sales applied for the registration without authorization and misrepresented Townsend’s authorship in its application to the copyright office. However, U.S. District Judge Ronnie Abrams disagreed, and on March 30th, 2021, Judge Abrams denied Sheeran’s motion to dismiss, permitting the new infringement case to continue.

Structured Asset Sales is represented by Hillel Ira Parness of Parness Law Firm PLLC.

Sheeran and the other defendants are represented by Donald S. Zakarin of Pryor Cashman LLP.

Structured Asset Sales LLC v. Sheeran et al., case number 1:20-cv-04329, in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.

* Lowe & Associates (“The Firm”) is an entertainment and business law firm located in Beverly Hills, California. The Firm has extensive experience handling cases involving copyright law, having provided top-quality legal services to its clients since 1991. The Firm is recognized for its many achievements, including successfully litigating many high-profile cases.

Find us at our website at www.LoweLaw.com