Ed Sheeran plagiarism row: "Mozart and Bach could sue every musician ever", says former Q and NME editor

If Ed Sheeran is prosecuted in the plagiarism claim brought against him by the co-writer of the Marvin Gaye classic Let's Get It On, then "the families of Johann Sebastian Bach and Mozart could sue every single popular musician in the history of the world".

Sheeran receives a Grammy for Thinking Out Loud earlier this year

Thursday, August 11, 2016

If Ed Sheeran is prosecuted in the plagiarism claim brought against him by the co-writer of the Marvin Gaye classic Let's Get It On, then "the families of Johann Sebastian Bach and Mozart could sue every single popular musician in the history of the world". 

So says Danny Kelly, former editor of Q Magazine and the New Musical Express (NME), who warns that the courts need to be very careful not to stifle artists' creativity.  

Songwriter Ed Turner is suing the British singer in a New York court, claiming that Sheeran's Thinking Out Loud copied the 'heart' of Gaye's 1973 hit. 

Gaye’s family last year won $7.4m (£5.7m) after successfully suing Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams for copyright infringement over their single Blurred Lines.  

"That was a very much more obvious case," Kelly told Jonny Gould and Ash. "The records did sound alike. 

"But the sheer amount of money that went down means everybody is now combing their libraries to try and find any vague similarities. 

"We’re going to see a succession of these. You’ll have the families of Mozart and Johann Sebastian Bach suing every single popular musician in the history of the world.

"The [Sheeran and Gaye] records sound nothing like each other.

"If Ed Sheeran gets done here, we're on a road where no-one will be able to write a popular song.

The courts need to be very careful, because what they are going to do is close down creativity."

Listen to the full interview above

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