'Let's Get It On' ... in court : The Indicator from Planet Money Did Ed Sheeran steal from Marvin Gaye's "Let's Get It On" in his hit single "Thinking Out Loud"? That case heads to trial next week, and our guest says the outcome should matter to music-lovers everywhere.

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'Let's Get It On' ... in court

'Let's Get It On' ... in court

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Left photo: Ed Sheeran, who is being sued by the heirs of Ed Townsend, cowriter of Marvin Gaye's "Let's Get It On". Right photo: Marvin Gaye. Left: Tolga Akmen (Getty), Right: Nancy Kaye (AP)/ hide caption

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Left: Tolga Akmen (Getty), Right: Nancy Kaye (AP)/

Left photo: Ed Sheeran, who is being sued by the heirs of Ed Townsend, cowriter of Marvin Gaye's "Let's Get It On". Right photo: Marvin Gaye.

Left: Tolga Akmen (Getty), Right: Nancy Kaye (AP)/

When it comes to making art, what's the difference between inspiration and theft? Between artistic license and copyright infringement? That is the question at the heart of one of the biggest musical copyright cases in years that heads to trial next week.

Today on the show, did Ed Sheeran steal from Marvin Gaye's "Let's Get It On" in his hit single "Thinking Out Loud"? Law professor Jennifer Jenkins sits down at the piano to help us hear the differences and similarities between these two songs.

But there's a lot more than money riding on the outcome of this trial. Jennifer explains why the case should matter to music-lovers everywhere.

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Correction April 21, 2023

A previous version of this episode incorrectly implied that Ed Townsend's heirs were seeking $100 million in their lawsuit. In fact, that is the amount claimed in a concurrent lawsuit against Ed Sheeran by Structured Asset Sales, an entity which holds part of the rights to "Let's Get It On." While a lawyer for Ed Townsend's heirs says they have not released the official amount they are seeking, court records indicate that they are seeking compensation in the millions.