Ed Sheeran wins copyright case over hit song “Shape of You”


Palak Arora 09/04/22 #Patents #Copyright #Trademark #infringement #intellectualproperty #IPR #IPRinfo #IPlaw #IPRrights #Trademarkclickcom #entrepreneur #EdShreen #ShapeofYou #SamiChokri #RossODonoghue #JudgeAntonyZacaroli #StevenMcCutcheon #JohnMcDaid #songwriters

British singer Ed Sheeran secured his win in the copyright infringement case over his super hit song “Shape of You”. He had been involved in the legal battle with grime artist Sami Chokri and music producer Ross O'Donoghue. They accused Sheeran of copying the hook from their 2015 song "Oh Why"in his song "Shape of You". Sami Chokri is famous for performing as Sami Switch.

Sheeran made a statement in an interview after winning this case that such meritless copyright claims were filed with the sole intention to grab the attention of the public and defame the other person which further, damaged the music industry. The lawsuit was going on at the High Court in London involving a legal question: Whether to refrain from the 2017 mega-hit ‘Shape of You’ has been copied from another artist.

"Whilst we're happy with the result I feel like claims like this are way too common now and it's become a culture where a claim is made with the idea that a settlement will be cheaper than taking them to court, even if there's no basis for the claim. It's damaging to the songwriting industry," Sheeran said in a video posted on Twitter.

Judge Antony Zacaroli was hearing the matter and concluded that there was no evidence in support of the allegation that Sheeran had thought of writing the hit before October 2016. He further added, “I have analyzed the song's musical elements and found that there is compelling evidence that the 'OI (Oh I) Phrase' originated from sources other than 'Oh Why'. While there are similarities between the 'OW (Oh Why) Hook' and the 'OI (Oh I) Phrase', there are also significant differences. I am satisfied that Mr. Sheeran doesn’t subconsciously copy 'Oh Why' in creating 'Shape of You.”

Sheeran had to face lengthy questioning about his work and stuff during the trial last month. The singer said, “I always credit other artists and I have never heard the “Oh Why” song that I am accused of ripping off. There are only so many notes and very few chords used in pop music, coincidence is bound to happen.”

Legal proceedings were initiated against Sheeran back in 2018 when he and the co-writers Steven McCutcheon and John McDaid requested the High Court to declare that they had not infringed any sort of Chokri and O'Donoghue's copyright for "Oh Why". But Chokri and O'Donoghue later came up with a counterclaim alleging that he deliberately committed infringement.

Undoubtedly, this decision will act as a precedent while hearing similar cases where smaller artists come up with copyright infringement allegations against some of the larger and well-known artists. This case may help in drawing a little bit of a line in the sand to really make people think about whether it is of any worth bringing such baseless claims of copyright infringement against some of the well-known artists, that too when those artistsare very well aware of the obligations of providing credit wherever and whenever any credit is due.

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