Ed Sheeran copyright trial closings focus on performance of ‘Thinking Out Loud’ that segued to Marvin Gaye hit ‘Let’s Get It On’

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Closing arguments in the Ed Sheeran copyright infringement trial on Wednesday circled back to the beginning of the case — a recording of Sheeran’s November 2014 performance of his hit song “Thinking Out Loud.”

During the performance in Zurich, Sheeran segued into the Marvin Gaye Hit “Let’s Get It On” — evidence to the estate of Gaye’s collaborator that Sheeran unlawfully ripped off the 1973 soul hit.

“The Zurich video is further evidence that he knew exactly what he was doing when he played those two songs together,” said Keisha Rice, a lawyer for the heirs of Ed Townsend, who co-wrote “Let’s Get It On” with Gaye.

Also presenting a closing argument was Benjamin Crump, another lawyer for the Townsend family.

“My grandmother taught me when I was a little boy ‘Your actions speak so loud that I don’t need to hear your words,’” said Crump.

“Not only do we have a smoking gun, but we have bullets,” the lawyer said of the video.

Sheeran sat by in Manhattan Federal Court as the Townsend family lawyers spoke.

But the video isn’t proof enough that Sheeran, 32, acted wrongly, said Ilene Farkas, one of Sheeran’s lawyers.

“A video of Ed Sheeran mashing up a few minutes — that’s plaintiff’s confession? The smoking gun?” Farkas asked the jury.

If every “mashup or medley of two or more songs was a confession,” then every artist who did something similar would be guilty of copyright infringement, she said.

“Simply put, plaintiff’s smoking gun is shooting blanks,” said Farkas as Sheeran, wearing a dark suit with a pale blue tie, looked on.

Earlier in the trial, Sheeran played the song in question for the court, demonstrating its four-chord sequence, which Farkas has called “the scaffolding of music”.

Outside the courtroom, Townsend’s daughter said she was glad her father’s heirs had their day in court.

“It is all in God’s hands and I think we’ve given it our best shot,” said Kathryn Townsend Griffin.

“Win, lose or draw, everything’s still a win because now people are gong to be aware and they’re now going to double check to make sure they’re not infringing.”

Judge Louis Stanton charged the seven-person jury, which deliberated briefly late in the afternoon and will resume deliberations on Thursday.