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Ed Sheeran “Shape Of You” Copyright Lawsuit

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Ed Sheeran has been accused by two other musicians called Sami Chokri and Ross O’Donoghue, who claim that the singer has been copying their work and that the hit track “Shape Of You” infringes “particular lines and phrases” from their 2015 composition. Ed Sheeran denied this allegation and told the court on Monday the 7thof March 2022 that he often shared credit with artists who are unknown or lesser known, such as Shivers and Visiting Hours.

The track “Shape Of You” was at the number one spot for 14 weeks in the UK in 2017, leading it to become the bestselling song of the year in the world. However, now the songwriters Sami Chokri and Ross O’Donoghue have claimed that there is a part of the song that is similar to their own track “Oh Why”, which was released by Chokri under the name Sami Switch in 2015.

Ed Sheeran spoke to the court on Monday the 7th of March, saying, “All those examples are not famous artists that we’ve cleared songs with and that’s what I have to say on that.”

Andrew Sutcliffe QC, the barrister for the two musicians, said that Ed Sheeran “borrows ideas and throws them into his songs, sometimes he will acknowledge it but sometimes he won’t.”

“Shape Of You” was created by Ed Sheeran with co-writers Steve Mac and Snow Patrol’s Johnny McDaid, both of whom were also in court. When the song was released, the singer “added the team behind TLC’s 1999 single ‘No Scrubs’ to the song’s writing credits after some commentators pointed out similarities”.

The barrister Andrew Sutcliffe QC said in response to all the evidence that Ed Sheeran provided, “The evidence is overwhelming that at the time of writing Shape of You, your songwriting process involved collecting ideas.”

LONDON, ENGLAND – FEBRUARY 22: EDITORIAL USE ONLY. Ed Sheeran performs on stage at The BRIT Awards 2017 at The O2 Arena on February 22, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Karwai Tang/WireImage)

Ed Sheeran said that the challenged elements of “Shape Of You” was “very short” and that the similar parts of both songs were “entirely commonplace”. He said, “Even so, if I had heard Oh Why at the time and had referenced it, I would have taken steps to clear it. I have always tried to be completely fair in crediting anyone who makes any contribution to any song I write. I do refer to other works on occasion when I write, as do many songwriters. If there is a reference to another work, I notify my team so that steps can be taken to obtain clearance. I have been as scrupulous as I possibly can and have even given credits to people who I believe may have been no more than a mere influence for a songwriting element. This is because I want to treat other songwriters fairly.”

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