Instead, the jury heard “Let’s Get It On,” a computerized version based on the original sheet music. It was a cold and disembodied performance, complete with a robotic voice that sounded like it was coming from a Speak & Spell doll – an eerie interpretation of one of the most sensual songs of all time.
4. Ed Sheeran showed two different sides.
Sheeran testified every day at the trial, and on the stand he was shown writing his songs with a guitar. He describes his determination as a 17-year-old aspiring musician to play every open-mic night in London, and says he writes eight or nine songs a day.
But Sheeran, 32, was belligerent and angry at times. He attacked the testimony of musician Alexander Stewart, who was testifying for the plaintiffs, as “incriminating”. Under cross-examination, plaintiffs’ attorney Patrick R. Frank was interrupted and questioned about his playing of Sheeran’s confession. you Would you believe this?”
5. Musicians can be mean to each other.
A key part of any music copyright trial is the testimony of musicologists hired as expert witnesses for each side, who present dry, concise analyzes of the music.
At the Sheeran trial, the two experts took every opportunity to bring each other down. Stewart, a professor at the University of Vermont, portrayed Lawrence Ferrara of New York University as persuasively struggling to find “prior art”—citations from music history.
Ferrara fired back. He dismissed Stewart’s estimate that 70 percent of “Thinking Out Loud” was taken from “Let’s Get It On” as “ridiculous” and “outlandish”. Stewart’s hypothesis that Sheeran mirrored some of Kay’s melodies, Ferrara said, “is, to be perfectly honest, ridiculous.” Ferrara said Stewart’s other decisions were “ridiculous” and “ridiculous.” For musicians, these are fireworks.