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Ed Sheeran Wins Copyright Case Over 'Shape of You'

The verdict is in! A judge has officially ruled against a copyright infringement claim against British pop-star Ed Sheeran and his 2017 hit "Shape of You."

The judge made the ruling early this morning in London after an 11 day trial. Sami Chokri, known as Sami Switch, had previously accused Sheeran of copying elements from his 2015 track "Oh Why."

Sami Switch - Oh Why (Official Video)www.youtube.com

Sheeran, along with his co-writers on the song, Steven McCutcheon and John McDaid, filed a case back in 2018 seeking a legal declaration that they were not guilty of copyright infringement after Chokri and his own co-author, Ross O'Donoghue, told the Performing Rights Society Limited that they deserved songwriting credit for "Shape of You."

Justice Zacaroli wrote in his verdict that Sheeran "did not deliberately or subconsciously copy" parts of Swich's song.

In light of the legal victory, Sheeran took to Instagram to share his feelings about the case.

"Me, Johnny and Steve have made a joint statement that will be press released on the outcome of this case, but I wanted to make a small video to talk about it a bit because I've not really been able to say anything whilst it's been going on," he said in the clip.
"Whilst we're obviously happy with the result, I feel like claims like this [are] way too common now and have become a culture where a claim is made with the idea that 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," Sheeran continued. "There's only so many nights and very few chords used in pop music. 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."

While acknowledging the "pain and hurt" on both sides, Sheeran explained,

"I'm 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."

Sheeran concluded his statement expressing some hope for the future amid the outcome of the case,

"Lawsuits are not a pleasant experience and I hope that this ruling means in the future baseless claims like this can be avoided. This really does have to end. Me, Johnny and Steve are very grateful for all the support sent to us by fellow songwriters over the last few weeks. Hopefully we can all get back to writing songs rather than having to prove that we can write them."

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Peri Allen