Ed Sheeran: Judge’s verdict in Shape of You copyright lawsuit due today
Ed Sheeran is set to find out the outcome of his High Court dispute over the copyright of his 2017 hit ‘Shape Of You’.
A judge’s decision on whether the song copied part of another artist’s track is due on Wednesday.
Sheeran and his Shape Of You co-writers, Snow Patrol’s John McDaid and producer Steven McCutcheon, have denied stealing the 2015 song “Oh Why” by Sami Chokri.
Chokri, a grime artist who goes by the name Sami Switch, and his co-writer Ross O’Donoghue claimed that an “Oh I” hook in “Shape Of You” is “strikingly similar to an “Oh Why” chorus “. Track.
The co-writers of Shape Of You launched legal proceedings in May 2018, asking the High Court to rule that they had not infringed Chokri and Mr O’Donoghue’s copyright.
In July 2018, Chokri and Mr. O’Donoghue filed their own lawsuit alleging “copyright infringement, damages and profit settlement related to the alleged infringement.”
During an 11-day trial in London last month, Sheeran denied he “borrows” ideas from unknown songwriters without credit, insisting he’s “always tried to be absolutely fair” when acknowledging people who are too contributed to his albums.
The singer told the court he was trying to “clear my name” and denied using a lawsuit to “intimidate” Chokri and Mr O’Donoghue into abandoning the copyright battle.
All three of Shape Of You’s co-writers have denied allegations of copying and say they don’t recall listening to Oh Why before the lawsuit.
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Ian Mill QC, representing the three men, said the legal battle had been “deeply traumatising” and argued the case should never have gone to trial.
He claimed the case against her was “impossible to fight”, alleged evidence supporting the argument that Shape of You was an “independent creation”.
But Oh Why co-writers’ attorney Andrew Sutcliffe QC has dubbed Sheeran a “magpie,” claiming he “usually copies” other artists and that it’s “highly likely” that he had previously heard “Oh Why.”
He claimed Sheeran’s lawyers started the court case because PRS for Music – the industry body that collects and distributes royalties – “frozen” payments for UK broadcast and performance revenue from Shape Of You.
Sheeran has been targeted by Chokri’s former management with an “agreed plan” to secure his interest in the “Oh Why” singer, the court has been told, with “Oh Why” being sent to everyone around the star.
It has also been claimed that Sheeran must have been aware of Chokri because they appeared on YouTube channel SBTV around the same time, they had mutual friends, Chokri had messaged him on Twitter, and Sheeran had allegedly called his name at a performance.
Chokri told the trial he felt “robbed” by the music star and was “shocked” when he first heard “Shape Of You” on the radio.
Musicologists have expressed conflicting views during the trial as to whether Shape Of You shares “significant similarities” or is “unmistakably different” from “Oh Why.”
“Shape Of You” was a worldwide hit, becoming the best-selling song of 2017 in the UK and the most-streamed track in Spotify history.
Judge Zacaroli’s verdict is scheduled to be announced at 9:45 a.m. in a remote hearing.
https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/music/news/ed-sheeran-shape-of-you-verdict-b2051899.html Ed Sheeran: Judge’s verdict in Shape of You copyright lawsuit due today