Monday, May 8, 2023

6 Takeaways From Ed Sheeran’s ‘Let’s Get It On’ Copyright Case; The New York Times, May 5, 2023

Ben Sisario, The New York Times ; 6 Takeaways From Ed Sheeran’s ‘Let’s Get It On’ Copyright Case

"1. Sheeran’s victory maintains music copyright’s status quo.

An opinion piece in The Washington Post called the lawsuit “a threat to Western civilization.” Sheeran’s lawyers were less hyperbolic but still argued that a loss would have a devastating impact on songwriters by privatizing parts of the public domain.

“Creativity would be stifled for fear of being sued,” Ilene S. Farkas said in her closing statement.

Sheeran’s win means that music’s wider legal landscape remains largely undisturbed. After the shock of the “Blurred Lines” verdict in 2015, in which Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams were ordered to pay more than $5 million to Gaye’s family — a case that many experts felt was wrongly decided — Led Zeppelin prevailed in a suit involving “Stairway to Heaven,” sending the pendulum back to a more neutral position."

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