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06th Apr 2022

Ed Sheeran hits out as ‘baseless claims’ after winning ‘Shape of You’ copyright case

Danny Jones

Ed Sheeran wins his copyright battle

Ed’s in the clear

Ed Sheeran has slammed the “baseless” claims made against him after winning a copyright case over his 2017 song ‘Shape of You’.

A High Court on Wednesday ruled that the singer-songwriter had not copied signature elements of the 2015 song “Oh Why” by Sami Switch – real name Sami Chokri – who claimed the repetitive “Oh I” hook in Sheeran’s track was “strikingly similar” to the eponymous “Oh why” line in his own track.

The 31-year-old has since released a video message stating he and his legal team’s delight over the victory, adding that he had been unable to discuss the issue until the verdict had been reached.

In the video Sheeran called the claim “baseless” and said copyright claims were damaging to the music industry, saying coincidences are bound to happen if “60,000 [new] songs are being released every day on Spotify”.

Judge Antony Zacaroli ruled that Sheeran had “neither deliberately nor subconsciously copied” the song and while he acknowledged there were “similarities between the one-bar phrase” between the two songs, they were only enough for “a starting point for a possible infringement” of copyright.

The case itself was taken up back in 2018 after the song had already become the best-selling track of 2017, sat at number one for 12 consecutive weeks and has gone on earn over three billion streams.

Sheeran went on to describe the case as a “very unpleasant experience”, adding, “I am 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”, before stating that hopes “we can all get back to writing songs rather than proving that we can”.

He also gave a fairly honest and comprehensive summary regarding the state of pop music in the process, stating what many have criticised the charts over for years: “there’s only so many notes and very few chords used in pop music”.

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