Sunday, July 21, 2024

Songwriters explain why ‘Let’s Get It On’ affair was closer to disaster – Rolling Stone


After threatening to give up his music career if he loses the case, Ed Sheeran was, to say the least, pretty relieved Thursday (May 4) when a federal jury ruled that his song “Thinking Out Loud” (co-starred with Amy Wadge) did not infringe the copyrights of Marvin Gaye’s Let’s Get It On. But the entire community of professional songwriters has been watching the case closely, and with no small degree of trepidation. “If this case had turned out differently, it would have completely changed the landscape,” says James “JHart” Abrahart, who has written songs for Justin Bieber, Usher, Camila Cabello, and Manskin.

In the new episode of Rolling Stone Music Nowsongwriters Gina Andrews (who co-wrote BTS’ “Butter” and “Permission to Dance,” and wrote for Noah Cyrus and Jennifer Lopez), and Jamie Hartman (who wrote for the Backstreet Boys, Lewis Capaldi, Jennifer Hudson, and Calvin Harris), alongside Along with JHart, they discuss the potential ramifications of Sheeran’s lawsuit, the limits of musical authenticity in pop music, and the ongoing ramifications of the “Blurred Lines” case (in which a Robin Thicke song—written by Pharrell Williams—was found infringed on Marvin Gaye’s “Got to Give It Up” which is based solely on groove and vibe) and more.

Find the episode here At the podcast provider of your choice, go directly to Apple Podcast or Spotifyor press Run above.

In the episode, the songwriters said they were particularly horrified by the argument that the song’s progression alone is protected by copyright—it was impossible for them to imagine that such essential elements of the music could remain off limits. “There are a lot of ropes you can use,” says Andrews.

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“Ed and Amy had a novel idea for a traditional arrangement,” says Hartmann. “Come up with an original song and a new original tune. That’s the brief. That’s what you have to do every day as a professional writer.”

The book says the ruling against Sheeran will have a powerful chilling effect — but at the same time, the Blurred Lines case and other recent rulings have already left songwriters and artists paranoid, meaning emerging songs are frequently scrapped by anyone who hears them. . “It’s always kind of frustrating when someone says, ‘Oh, that reminds you of something,'” Andrews says. ”


“I have a couple of my classmates on the court,” says Gehart. And one of them in particular, it really affected them. They’re kind of scared in the rooms and they feel like it turns them on. And it’s just stifling for people. I’ve seen how it affects people, financially as well, but just being able to be free and be creative.”

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