Insights into Ed Sheeran’s extraordinary trial, from singing in court to damaging “Magpie” slur


Today Ed Sheeran secured a victory in the High Court when a judge ruled he hadn’t stolen from another songwriter for his own mega smash Shape of You.

The judge’s ruling that the pop star and his two co-writers did not copy any part of Sami Chokri’s song Oh Why marks the end of an extraordinary trial in which Ed sang out of the box, a song that has not yet been released, accidentally played and claimed he was a “magpie” who habitually copied other artists.

Following the judge’s ruling, Ed and his co-writers John McDaid of Snow Patrol and producer Steve McCutcheon released a heartfelt statement, describing the toll the case has taken on their mental health and urging other songwriters to “be kind to one another.” “

Ed Sheeran at the High Court where the copyright trial took place last month



The award-winning artist also took to Instagram to speak directly to fans in a video that has racked up more than 250,000 views in less than two hours.

In it, Ed warns that copyright cases like the one he’s been fighting are becoming more common, adding, “This really needs to stop.”

Chokri, a grime artist who goes by the name Sami Switch, and his co-writer Ross O’Donoghue claimed that an “Oh I” hook in Shape Of You corresponds to an “Oh Why” chorus in their 2015 track “strikingly similar” is .

Ed Sheeran won a victory in the High Court today


Dave Benett/Getty Images)

The co-authors of The Shape Of You began court proceedings in May 2018, asking the High Court to declare that they had not infringed Chokri and Mr O’Donoghue’s copyright.

In July 2018, Chokri and Mr. O’Donoghue filed their own lawsuit alleging “copyright infringement, damages and profit settlement related to the alleged infringement”.

The trial, which began March 4, saw Oh Why co-authors’ attorney Andrew Sutcliffe QC refer to Ed as a “magpie”.

“Mr. Sheeran is undoubtedly very talented, he is a genius. But he’s also a magpie,” said Mr Sutcliffe.

A court sketch by Ed Sheeran taking a stand in the copyright lawsuit, which he won



“He borrows ideas and throws them into his songs, sometimes he’ll appreciate it, sometimes he won’t.”

The attorney also claimed Ed’s recognition depended on how famous the other artist was, adding that Mr Chokri and Mr O’Donoghue “are not Shaggy, Coldplay, Rihanna or Jay-Z, if they were they would be.” been treated very differently”.

Ed, on the stand, later hit back by saying that wasn’t the case, saying he’s “always tried to be absolutely fair” when acknowledging people who have contributed to his albums.

Sami Chokri was involved in a legal battle with Ed Sheeran



The actor took the witness stand for several days just weeks after the death of his close friend and music entrepreneur Jamal Edwards, whom he referred to as “my brother”, adding an emotional statement: “I wouldn’t be here professionally and personally without him .”

Journalists, court clerks and lawyers were treated to a mini concert as Ed sang excerpts from “Shape of You” and Nina Simone’s “Feeling Good”.

Snow Patrol’s Jonny McDaid, a co-author of Shape of You, arrives at the High Court where the litigation took place



The pop star also sang a section of his 2015 hit I See Fire while being cross-examined to prove that certain songs sound the same when placed in the same key.

A clip of an unreleased song Ed wrote last January was also accidentally played in court that day, leading the singer to look confused and ask how the defense came up with it.

Ed also revealed that he initially thought Shape of You “sticked out like a thumb” on his album Divide while working on the single, and then made changes.

Ed Sheeran released a video message to fans after the court case concluded



Shape Of You was a worldwide hit, becoming the best-selling song of 2017 in the UK and the most-streamed song in Spotify history.

He also denied that the lawsuit was financially motivated after it was revealed that payments to Sheeran and his co-writers for the performance or airing of the hit had been suspended by the industry association.

He told the court in a powerful message: “This trial is here so I can clear my name. That’s the only reason I’m here.”

In today’s sentencing hearing, Judge Zacaroli said Sheeran “neither intentionally nor unknowingly copied the sentence.”

Ed Sheeran performs with Camila Cabello during the concert for Ukraine


Getty Images for Livewire Image)

He acknowledged in a written judgment that while there are similarities between the two sentences, there are also “important differences”.

In a joint statement following the decision, Sheeran, McDaid and McCutcheon spoke about the impact of the case on themselves and those around them, adding that they will continue to defend themselves against “unsubstantiated claims”.

They said: “There was a lot of talk about costs in this case. But there is more than just a financial cost. Creativity costs. When we’re involved in litigation, we don’t make music or play shows.

Ed Sheeran has spoken about the damaging culture of legal claims winning a victory in the High Court


(Getty Images)

“Our mental health comes at a price. The stress this causes on all sides is immense. It affects so many aspects of our daily lives and the lives of our families and friends. We are not companies. We are not entities.

“We are human beings. We are songwriters. We don’t want to belittle the hurt and pain anyone has suffered as a result, while at the same time we feel it’s important to acknowledge that we, too, have had our own hurts and life struggles in the process.

Sami Switch has lost the copyright dispute in the High Court

They continued, “It’s having an impact both on us and on the wider community of songwriters everywhere. Our hope of going through all of this shows that there is a need for a safe space for all songwriters to be creative. and free to express their heart.

“That’s why we all got involved in it in the first place. Everyone should be able to express themselves freely and fearlessly in music, in art.

“At the same time, we believe there should be due process for legitimate and justifiable copyright protection.

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“However, this is not the same as having a culture where unjustified claims are easily made. This is neither constructive nor conducive to a culture of creativity.

“We are grateful that Mr Justice Zacaroli has delivered a clear and considered judgment that supports the position we have taken from the outset. ‘Shape of You’ is original. We didn’t copy the accused’s song.

“We respect the music of those who have come before us and inspired us along the way, whoever they are.

Ed Sheeran’s song Shape of You was a worldwide hit

We have always tried to clarify or acknowledge our influences and collaborators. No matter how successful something seems to be, we still respect it.

“It’s so painful to hear someone publicly and aggressively challenge their integrity.

“It’s so painful to have to defend yourself against allegations of doing something you didn’t do and never would do.

“We are privileged to do what we do and we know it. We want to live in a world where we are free to do what we do openly and with honor.

Ed Sheeran leaves the High Court where his case was heard



“While this was one of the most difficult things we’ve ever gone through in our professional lives, we will continue to defend ourselves against baseless claims and protect our rights and the integrity of our musical creativity so that we can continue to make music, always.”

In a video on his Instagram, Sheeran said, “Claims like this are far too common now and have become a culture where a claim is made with the goal that a settlement is cheaper than going to court, even if there isn’t one Case gives the claim.”

The chart-topper has spoken about the mental toll the court case has taken



“It’s really detrimental to the songwriting industry. In popular music, only so many notes and very few chords are used. If 60,000 songs are released on Spotify every day, that’s a coincidence, that’s 22 million songs a year and only 12 notes are available.

He added: “I don’t want to take away from the pain and injury sustained on both sides of this case, but I just want to say I’m not an entity, I’m not a company. I am a man, I am a father, I am a husband, I am a son.

“Litigation is not a pleasant experience and I hope this ruling will help avoid baseless lawsuits in the future.”

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https://www.mirror.co.uk/3am/celebrity-news/inside-ed-sheerans-extraordinary-trial-26648079 Insights into Ed Sheeran's extraordinary trial, from singing in court to damaging "Magpie" slur

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