Ed Sheeran denies being an artist ‘altering’ other people’s music in copyright trial

Ed Sheeran has denied being an artist “altering” other people’s words and music to “translate like the original”, in a Supreme Court battle over the copyright of his hit Shape Of You in 2016. his 2017.

His singer also denied allegations that he “borrowed” ideas from unnamed musicians without admitting, as he gave evidence at a hearing in London on Monday.

Mr. Sheeran and the two co-writers of Shape Of You are embroiled in a legal dispute with two songwriters, Sami Chokri and Ross O’Donoghue, who allege the song cut off parts of the year’s Oh Why. 2015 – which they deny.

During cross-examination by Andrew Sutcliffe QC, representing Mr. Chokri and Mr. O’Donoghue, Mr. Sheeran was repeatedly questioned about his writing history and whether he knew of Mr. Chokri’s previous work. are not.


Ed Sheeran gives evidence in court (Elizabeth Cook/PA)

On Friday, the first day of a three-week trial, Mr Sutcliffe accused Sheeran of “borrowing ideas and putting them into his songs, which he will sometimes admit to but sometimes not”.

The lawyer also claimed Mr Sheeran’s admission depends on the celebrity’s popularity, adding that Mr Chokri and Mr O’Donoghue “are not Shaggy, Coldplay, Rihanna or Jay-Z, if they were them. they will be treated very differently. road”.

But on Monday, Sheeran’s attorney, Ian Mill QC, asked him if he accepted that he behaved this way.

Mr Sheeran, who appeared in the witness room in a dark suit and tie, replied “no”, before adding: “The examples he is using are clearly famous artists sound, two of them are the people that I did the song with.”

He continued that “if Mr Sutcliffe had done his research”, he would have known there were “lots” of unknown artists with whom he had deleted parts of the song with him.

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Ed Sheeran arrives at the Supreme Court (Aaron Chown/PA)

Mr Sheeran also gave several examples of times when he had erased aspects of songs with unknown artists, including sampling part of a song on the TV show Buffy The Vampire Slayer. from an “unknown composer”.

“All those examples were not famous artists we removed the song and that’s what I have to say about that,” he said.

Mr Sutcliffe also told the musician on Monday that “you change the lyrics and the music belongs to someone else just enough to think they’ll be the same as the original”.

“No,” answered Mr. Sheeran.

Mr Sheeran also denied that he was aware of Mr Chokri, a cranky performer who performed under the stage name Sami Switch, earlier in his career.


Musician Sami Chokri (Aaron Chown / PA)

Mr Sutcliffe suggested that he must have known about Mr Chokri because they appeared on the YouTube channel SBTV at the same time, they shared friends, Mr Chokri sent him a message on Twitter and Mr Sheeran is said to have shouted his name at a show.

“This is all you are saying, this is not true,” Mr. Sheeran said.

Mr. Sutcliffe asked him: “Are you saying that you certainly don’t know about him, rather that you forget that you know about him?”

“Yes,” said Mr. Sheeran.

Mr Sheeran also denied that he had “discovered talent” and “plunged” into the UK music scene in 2015 when Mr Chokri returned from a two-year absence.

He told the court his “priority” was British artist Jamie Lawson, who was signed to Mr Sheeran’s Gingerbread Man record label.

He also declined Mr Sutcliffe’s suggestion that there was a “good chance” that he had seen various song and video releases and a tweet featuring Sami Switch in 2015 and 2016.

Mr. Sheeran testified in court that he quit social media at the end of 2015 and the following year used “Tesco’s flip phone”.

He also disagrees that it is possible that the late founder of the YouTube channel SBTV, Jamal Edwards, shared with him Mr Chokri’s song Oh Why.

Mr Sheeran denied Mr Edwards, who died last month and was described in court as his “best friend”, had shared music with him in 2015 and 2016, explaining that he had only just done so recently.

“It’s not very believable, Mr. Sheeran,” said Mr. Sutcliffe. This is your best friend who was once at the center of the UK scene. Are you saying he didn’t start sharing music with you until last year? “

“Yes, that’s what I’m saying,” Mr Sheeran replied, adding that they would “talk about football, talk about his mother, talk about theatre”.

“I suppose it’s entirely possible that Jamal Edwards shares Oh Why with you, doesn’t it?” Mr. Sutcliffe said.

“No,” answered Mr. Sheeran.

In his written witness testimony, Mr Sheeran said he did not recall meeting Chokri, although Mr Chokri asserted that they had met at a party in a Nando’s restaurant in central London.

Elsewhere, he wrote that he “always tries to be completely fair in crediting anyone who contributes to any song I write,” adding that he has been “as careful as possible.” possible and even gave credit to people I believe might have. more than a mere influence for a compositional element”.

Mr Sheeran later described his songs as “bottles of excitement” in written evidence, asserting “no thought process has been overcome” and “almost all of his songs” I was all written in less than two hours.”

Mr Chokri and Mr O’Donoghue alleged that Shape Of You violated “specific lines and phrases” in their song Oh Why.

But Sheeran’s lawyers told the Supreme Court that the singer and his co-writers, Steven McCutcheon and John McDaid, have no recollection of hearing Oh Why before the legal fight and denial. allegation of copying.

Mr. Sheeran and his co-authors launched legal proceedings in May 2018, asking the Supreme Court to declare they did not infringe the copyrights of Mr. Chokri and Mr. O’Donoghue.

In July 2018, Mr Chokri and Mr O’Donoghue made their own claims for “copyright infringement, damage and profit accounts related to the alleged infringement”.

The trial before Mr Justice Zacaroli continues, and Mr Sheeran is expected to continue giving evidence on Tuesday.

https://www.independent.ie/entertainment/music/ed-sheeran-denies-being-an-artist-who-alters-others-music-in-copyright-trial-41420675.html Ed Sheeran denies being an artist ‘altering’ other people’s music in copyright trial

Fry Electronics Team

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