Ed Sheeran wins copyright lawsuit over 2017 hit "Shape of You"
Ed Sheeran has won a copyright lawsuit over his song "Shape of You." Artist Sami Chokri, known as Sami Switch, claimed Sheeran's 2017 hit plagiarized his 2015 song "Oh Why."
After an 11-day trial, judge ruled Sheeran had "neither deliberately nor subconsciously copied" Chokri's song and that while there were "similarities between the one-bar phrase" they were "only a starting point for a possible infringement" of copyright, according to BBC News.
While Sheeran includes the "oh I" phrase in "Shape of You," the judge said it said it "originated from sources other than 'Oh Why'" and that the relevant parts of each song were different.
In a video posted on Instagram, Sheeran said he hadn't been able to talk about the suit as it was ongoing, and while he is happy with the result, claims like this are too common. He said there is 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."
"It's really damaging to the songwriting industry," said Sheeran. "There's only so many notes and very few chords used in pop music."
Sheeran said coincidences like this are bound to happen if 60,000 songs are released daily on Spotify – and only 12 notes available.
The judge ruled Sheeran had not heard "Oh Why" before writing his song, as the defense claimed. Snow Patrol's John McDaid and producer Steven McCutcheon, who co-wrote the song, also denied having previously heard "Oh Why," according to BBC News.
In 2017, after fans pointed out that "Shape of You" sounded similar to the 1999 TLC hit "No Scrubs," songwriters Kandi Burruss, Tameka Cottle and producer Kevin Briggs were given credits on Sheeran's song.
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