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Ed Sheeran says allegations in copyright infringement trial are ‘really insulting’

by Johnson Jr.
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Originally Published: 01 MAY 23 14:35 ET

Updated: 01 MAY 23 16:37 ET

By Nicki Brown, CNN

    (CNN) — Musician Ed Sheeran appeared visibly frustrated on the stand Monday as he continued his testimony in the second week of his copyright infringement case about whether his smash single “Thinking Out Loud” copied the classic Marvin Gaye song “Let’s Get It On.”

Sheeran said he found the allegations in the case “really insulting.” At one point, the musician said, “I’m not gonna swear.”

He also disputed the testimony of Alexander Stewart, the plaintiffs’ expert witness. Sheeran claimed Stewart altered elements from “Thinking Out Loud” in his analysis in order to prove his point.

Stewart had claimed during the trial last week that the chords Sheeran played in the first 24 seconds of his song were “virtually identical” to “Let’s Get It On.”

Sheeran said that the chords in “Thinking Out Loud” are a “common progression,” and that similar chords are used in several songs.

To demonstrate this, he played the chords from “Thinking Out Loud” while singing multiple different songs from other artists, including “Tupelo Honey” and “Crazy Love.” He testified that he did not copy those songs when he wrote “Thinking Out Loud.”

On Thursday, Sheeran played the opening line of “Thinking Out Loud” in an attempt to rebut Stewart’s testimony.

Sheeran is accused of copying “Let’s Get It On” by the heirs of Ed Townsend, who co-wrote the 1973 hit with Gaye. Townsend’s daughter Kathryn Townsend Griffin, sister Helen McDonald and the estate of his former wife, Cherrigale Townsend, are the listed plaintiffs on the “Thinking Out Loud” case.

Gaye died in 1984 and Townsend died in 2003.

When asked on the stand Monday what he would do if the plaintiffs win the case and own the chord progression, Sheeran said, “If that happens, I’m done.”

–CNN’s Chloe Melas contributed to this report.

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