Ed Sheeran has to wait until he hears the outcome of a High Court dispute over the copyright of his 2017 hit “Shape of You.”
The trial in London, which focused on allegations that the song was ripped from another artist’s track, ended yesterday.
Judge Zacaroli, who presided over the 11-day hearing that Sheeran attended throughout, said he will “take some time to consider my verdict.”
Sheeran and his co-writers John McDaid of Snow Patrol and producer Steven McCutcheon deny shape of you copies part of the song from 2015 Oh why by Sami Chokri.
Chokri, a grime artist who goes by the name Sami Switch, and his co-writer Ross O’Donoghue claim to be an “Oh I” hook-in shape of you is “strikingly similar” to an “Oh Why” chorus in her track.
The court yesterday heard closing arguments from Andrew Sutcliffe QC, who Oh why co-authors.
Mr Sutcliffe claimed there was an “undeniable resemblance between the works” and suggested that the likelihood of two songs that “correlate” appearing within months was “tiny tiny”.
Ian Mill QC, for the shape of you Co-writers previously said they were aware they had “no preconceived ideas” when they headed to Rokstone Studios on October 12, 2016 shape of you was written.
But Mr. Sutcliffe claimed the evidence “suggests” that Sheeran had arrived at Rokstone Studios that day Oh why “consciously or unconsciously in his head”.
In written arguments, the attorney claimed that Sheeran’s own oral testimony at trial was “highly unsatisfactory.”
“There were instances when he wasn’t telling the truth. It was full of inconsistencies, evasion and confusion,” Sutcliffe said.
“His answers were brief, often monosyllabic, to the difficult questions and more lengthy when he felt on safer ground.”
He suggested that the likelihood that Sheeran didn’t know Chokri in 2016 was “vanishingly small,” given that they appeared on YouTube channel SBTV around the same time, had mutual friends, and Chokri tweeted him and allegedly met him.
“If Mr. Sheeran was telling the truth on this, the Court is entitled to ask why. The obvious conclusion is that Mr. Sheeran denied knowing Mr. Chokri in order to distance himself from Mr. Chokri’s music.”
Mr Sutcliffe claimed Sheeran previously said he didn’t have a “premeditated thought process” for songwriting, but later accepted he continues to save lyrics and ideas. That’s what the lawyer said shape of you was written with such “extraordinary speed” that it was “consistent with the existence of preconceived notions”.
Mr Sutcliffe also called for “essential documents” linked to the writing of shape of you “have been lost or erased without reasonable explanation”.
Mr Mill said Sheeran keeps his own lyrical ideas in his head, while the star also said he doesn’t recall meeting or being sent to Chokri Oh why.
In written arguments, Mr Sutcliffe said Chokri had a “successful and well-publicized new profile on the UK scene” releasing music in 2015 and 2016, with “successful” attempts to bring him to the attention of Sheeran’s “collaborators”.
Sheeran and his co-authors began court proceedings in May 2018, asking the High Court to declare that they had not infringed Chokri and O’Donoghue’s copyright.
In July 2018, Chokri and O’Donoghue filed their own lawsuit alleging “copyright infringement, damages and profit settlement related to the alleged infringement.”
https://www.independent.ie/entertainment/music/music-news/sheeran-must-await-decision-in-shape-of-you-copyright-battle-41477251.html Sheeran has to wait for the decision in the copyright dispute over “Shape of You”.