(New York) British musician Ed Sheeran won his civil lawsuit in New York on Thursday for plagiarizing a song by American Marvin Gaye.

The Manhattan federal court jury, which had been sitting on trial for ten days in this iconic music copyright case, found that the 32-year-old singer had created his song “independently” and that his worldwide success of 2014, Thinking Out Loud was therefore not a partial copy of the famous Let’s Get It On by the prince of soul Marvin Gaye in 1973.

Sheeran, who has attended hearings since April 24 defending himself for plagiarizing Gaye’s title, stood up when the decision was announced, thanked the jury and gave his team a hug, according to an AFP journalist in the courtroom.

The consequences of the outcome of this lawsuit were significant: a verdict against the singer could have “cooled” artists in the creation of music, warned some musicologists and lawyers.

The plaintiffs were heirs of Ed Townsend, an American musician and producer who co-wrote the song Let’s Get It On with Marvin Gaye, an African-American soul legend (1939-1984).

The civil party pointed to “striking similarities and clear commonalities” between this song and Thinking Out Loud.

This is the second trial won in a year by Ed Sheeran: he had also won a separate legal battle in April 2022 before the High Court in London, which had dismissed two musicians accusing him of having copied one of their works for his mega hit Shape Of You.

In New York, the British singer-songwriter even had to play guitar and sing in court as a pledge of good faith.