Ed Sheeran has hit out at “baseless claims” after finally winning the Shape of You copyright case that began in 2018. Learn more here.
Pop sensation and Synchedin artist, Ed Sheeran has won a lengthy court battle, in which the singer was accused of plagiarism. Artist Sami Chokri believed that Sheeran had copied his track Oh Why when penning the 2017 number 1 single, Shape of You. The grime artist, who performs under the name Sami Switch, claimed that the “Oh I” hook in Shape of You was incredibly similar to an “Oh why” refrain in his. A long court case, which led many to reflect on plagiarism in music, ensued.
On Wednesday, a judge ruled that Sheeran had not plagiarised Chokri’s song, which was released in 2015. Since then, Sheeran has made a statement he shared on social media showing his relief that the case was finally over.
He explained that “baseless” claims, such as the one he was stung with, are “way too common”. Also, the star complained of the damaging culture that has formed where he said there was now 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 basis for the claim”.
He also highlighted that there are only so many notes and chords to play with in music, particularly pop. “Coincidence is bound to happen if 60,000 songs are being released every day on Spotify. That’s 22 million songs a year and there’s only 12 notes that are available.”
Sheeran actually sang Nina Simone’s Feeling Good and Blackstreet’s No Diggity in the stand during a court appearance. He wanted to prove that the type of melody the case was focussed on was commonplace in pop music. He also pointed out the fact that he often shares royalties with the writers of tracks who inspire him heavily. Writing credits are given to the writers of TLC’s No Scrubs on Shape of You.
Chokri insisted that Sheeran had heard Oh Why previous to writing Shape of You. The court ruled that Chokri and his team would need to provide sufficient evidence of this, as it was otherwise a speculative claim. After failing to do this, Mr Justice Zacaroli found that Sheeran hadn’t heard the song and similarities were purely coincidental.
Ed Sheeran is no stranger to copyright disputes being fired his way. After his victory with the Shape of You copyright case, it’s likely that the singer hopes future litigants will think twice before making any copyright claims.