The jury in the Ed Sheeran copyright infringement case — about whether Sheeran’s smash single “Thinking Out Loud” copied the classic Marvin Gaye song “Let’s Get It On” — deliberated for about five minutes Wednesday evening before the judge sent jury members home.
The jury sent a note to the judge requesting that it break deliberations for the night and the judge granted that request around 5:10 p.m.
The jury is expected to continue deliberations Thursday morning at 10 a.m. and Judge Louis Stanton told jury members that was fine, but he would not be back to court until 10:30 a.m.
If the jury decides Sheeran is liable for copyright infringement, the trial will move on to the second phase to determine damages.
The family of Ed Townsend, who co-wrote “Let’s Get It On” with Gaye, has accused Sheeran of copying the 1973 hit.
The plaintiffs have alleged similarities between the chord progression, harmonic rhythm, and certain melodies in the two songs. Sheeran’s legal team has argued that the melodies are different and the elements used in both songs are common in pop music.
Earlier, an attorney representing the family suing Sheeran asked the jury Wednesday not to be “blinded by the defendant’s celebrity.”
“Mr. Sheeran is counting on you to be very, very overwhelmed by his commercial success,” attorney Keisha Rice said in her closing argument Wednesday.
She claimed that it was “more likely than not” that Sheeran did not independently create his Grammy-award winning song “Thinking Out Loud.”
At times during Rice’s closing argument, Sheeran was seen shaking his head ‘no’ and holding his head in his hands.
Defense attorney Ilene Farkas said in her closing argument that Sheeran and co-writer Amy Wadge did not think about Marvin Gaye’s “Let’s Get It On” on the day they wrote their song.
“They did not copy it – not consciously, not unconsciously, not at all,” Farkas said.
She claimed any similar elements between the two songs are “basic to the toolkit of all songwriters, including Ed and Amy.”