Ed Sheeran Wins Copyright Case Over “Shape of You”

Videos by American Songwriter

Videos by American Songwriter

In the latest row of copyright infringement cases, Ed Sheeran has won the battle over songwriting credits for his 2017 hit, “Shape of You.” The high-profile case concluded with the ruling that Sheeran and his co-writers, Johnny McDaid of Snow Patrol and producer Steve Mac, did not copy Sami Chokri’s song “Oh Why.”

Chokri, whose stage name is Sami Switch, claimed that Sheeran had plagiarized his 2015 song “Oh Why” to create “Shape of You.” Further, Chokri pointed to the Oh, I hook in Sheeran’s songs as specific evidence of copyright infringement. Sheeran repeatedly denied these claims during the 11-day trial, and ultimately, Justice Zacaroli of the High Court in London agreed. Justice Zacaroli stated that “Mr. Sheeran neither deliberately nor subconsciously copied” Chokri’s song “Oh Why.”

Justice Zacaroli added that there was “no more than speculative” evidence that Sheeran was even aware of “Oh Why’s” existence.

After the court ruling, Sheeran revealed his feelings on the case to his fans. Read below.

“While we’re obviously happy with the result, I feel like claims like this are way too common now and have become a culture where a claim is made with the idea that a settlement will be cheaper than taking it to court. Even if there’s no base for the claim. It’s really damaging to the songwriting industry. There’s only so many notes and very few chords used in pop music. Coincidence is bound to happen if 60,000 songs are being released every day on Spotify,” Sheeran said.

He continued, “I don’t want to take anything away from the pain and hurt suffered by both sides of this case, but I just want to say that I’m not an entity. I’m not a corporation. I’m a human being. I’m a father. I’m a husband. I’m a son. Lawsuits are not a pleasant experience and I hope with this ruling it means in the future baseless claims like this can be avoided.”

Sheeran still faces an unresolved case over his song “Thinking Out Loud.”

Photo Credit: Zakary Walters

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