Tuesday, July 24, 2018

British Singer-Songwriter Accused of Adding Copied Elements of Another Artist's Song

After dealing with two previous legal disputes on using parts of other's songs, the Grammy-winning Sheeran is now defending himself against charges that he included "melody, rhythms, harmonies, drums, bass line, backing chorus, tempo, syncopation and looping” from a Marvin Gaye 1970's tune in his song, "Thinking Out Loud" ("Ed Sheeran Sued Again Over ‘Thinking Out Loud’ — This Time for $100 Million," Variety, June 28, 2018). The other two copyright infringement incidents involved the songs "Photograph" and "The Rest of Our Life."

Discussion Questions:
  1. Since there are only so many notes in the musical scale, do you think it's easy to copy someone else's work? Why or why not?
  2. Do you think Sheeran's reputation with his fans will suffer from this negative publicity? Do you think fans will stop listening to his music if it seems he's not creating new music on his own? Why or why not?
  3. Do you think other singers and songwriters will not want to work with him for fear he will use their work in his "compositions?" Why or why not?

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