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Ed Sheeran's testimony in copyright case for his song 'Thinking Out Loud'

Sheeran testified in court where he is accused of illegally copying Marvin Gaye's song 'Let's Get It On'.

English singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran and Songwriters Hall of Fame inductee Marvin Gaye

English singer and songwriter Ed Sheeran has testified in an American court where he is accused of copyright infringement regarding his 2014 hit 'Thinking Out Loud'.

Sheeran, along with Sony & others, was taken to court by the Townsend family - heirs of the late music producer and songwriter Ed Townsend who wrote lyrics for Gaye's 'Let's Get It On'. Sheeran is accused of copying the 1973 hit.

During court proceedings on Tuesday, Sheeran testified that most pop songs are developed by referencing earlier songs.

The 'Shape Of You' singer was also questioned about including Gaye's song on his set list for a concert and performing it as part of a medley that also included 'Thinking Out Loud'.

"If I'd done what you're accusing me of doing, I'd be an idiot to stand on stage in front of 20,000 people and do that.

"It is my belief that most pop songs are built on building blocks that have been freely available for hundreds of years," People magazine quoted Sheeran.

Lawyers also interrogated Sheeran's lyrics that refer to plagiarism while he was on the stand.

Frustrated by the trial, Sheeran also told the court that he has not been able to enjoy his 2016 Grammy Song of the Year hit since the case began.

Sheeran's lawyers have argued: "...the alleged similarities between the two songs are actually not similar and that any remaining similarities consist of unprotectable musical elements.”

The case is being heard in front of a jury, with other individuals lined up to testify as well.

Gaye's family has previously won similar lawsuits concerning the use of his music by other artists.

In 2015, Grammy-nominee Robin Thicke and award-winning producer Pharrell Williams were charged $5.3 million for sampling 'Got To Give It Up' for their 2013 hit song 'Blurred Lines'.

The court also awarded the Gaye family 50% of royalties from the song in perpetuity.

The suit involving Sheeran could change the landscape of copyrighted music as jurists interrogate whether "style" and "feel" of a song can qualify to be copyrighted material.

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