NEW YORK—Concluding a protracted legal battle in which the popular singer-songwriter stood accused of plagiarism, a federal jury found Thursday that singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran did not infringe upon anyone’s intellectual property with his song “I Wish I Were An Oscar Mayer Wiener.” “What you need to understand is that pop songs are harmonically and lyrically very simple, so yes, my song may use a similar chord progression and the exact same lyrics as a famous jingle used to sell hot dogs, but that doesn’t make it a copyright violation,” said Sheeran, who testified in his own defense, telling the Manhattan courtroom that ruling in favor of the plaintiff, processed meat purveyor Oscar Mayer, would have a chilling effect on artistic expressions of wanting to be an Oscar Mayer wiener. “It’s all part of the folk music process. Long before anyone thought of advertising hot dogs on television, Leadbelly and Woody Guthrie sang of how an Oscar Mayer wiener is what they’d truly like to be, and you can trace this through to the Beatles and Bob Marley, who each in their own way sang about how, if they were Oscar Mayer wieners, everyone would be in love with them. The theme of envying an Oscar Meyer wiener continues today, especially in hip-hop, and will be here long after we’re gone.” Shortly after the verdict was read, Sheeran reportedly attended a ceremony at which multiplatinum certification was awarded to his album My Bologna Has A First Name.
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