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SHEERAN WINS "SHAPE OF YOU" TRIAL

Ed SheeranJohnny McDaid and Steve Mac emerged victorious today as a judge ruled that the 2017 hit “Shape of You” had “neither deliberately nor subconsciously copied” Sami Chokri’s “Oh Why,” self-released in 2015 under the name Sami Switch.

Chokri had alleged that the hook in Sheeran’s hit was strikingly similar to a refrain in his own. While acknowledging similarities between the phrase in question, judge Antony Zacaroli said that was merely a “starting point” for a possible infringement of copyright and that differences in other parts of the songs provide “compelling evidence” that Sheeran didn’t copy Chokri. 

In a video posted on social media, Sheeran said claims like this are “way too common now, explaining, "[There’s 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. As there are only so many notes and very few chords used in pop music, coincidence is bound to happen if 60,000 songs are released every day on Spotify. That’s 22 million songs a year and only 12 notes available. I hope this ruling means, in the future, baseless claims like this can be avoided.”

In a joint statement, Sheeran, McDaid and Mac said: “Our hope in having gone through all this is that it shows there is a need for a safe space for all songwriters to be creative and free to express their hearts. Everyone should be able to freely express themselves in music, in art, and do so fearlessly. Our message to songwriters everywhere is: Please support each other. Be kind to one another. Let’s continue to cultivate a spirit of community and creativity.”

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