(London) British pop star Ed Sheeran did not plagiarize his mega-hit shape of yoursone of the most listened to titles in the world, concluded this Wednesday the High Court of London, dismissing two composers.
Updated yesterday at 10:21 am
Ed Sheeran, 31, personally went to court to defend himself in this case, which he considered emblematic of abusive practices undermining the music industry.
Judge Antony Zacaroli agreed with him: he did not copy, neither “deliberately” nor “unconsciously”, part of the song’s melody Oh!, why (2015) by Sami Chokri and Ross O’Donoghue for its planetary success.
shape of yours, the world’s best-selling title in 2017, also has 3 billion streams on Spotify and almost 6 billion views on YouTube. It earned the artist a Grammy.
According to the judge, there are “obvious similarities” between the two songs, with one particular melody resulting from the minor pentatonic scale like “countless pop, rock, folk and blues songs”, but also “significant differences”.
The two melodic phrases “play very different roles in their respective songs,” he added.
Saying he was “happy” with the outcome of the trial, the star lamented on Instagram that “requests like this are becoming all too common” for a financial settlement, even if they are “unfounded.”
“It’s really damaging to music composition,” he added, adding that “coincidences are likely to happen” given the limited number of notes available for the vast number of songs produced around the world.
“I hope that we can all go back to writing songs instead of having to prove that we know how to write them,” he concluded.
During the trial, which lasted ten days in March, the two titles were issued – as well as, by mistake, an excerpt from one of their unreleased songs.
Ed Sheeran had then denied “borrowing” ideas from little-known composers, while the plaintiffs’ lawyer, while acknowledging his “genius”, had accused him of being “a magpie”, in reference to the bird that is sometimes accused to be a thief.
“He borrows ideas and puts them into his songs, sometimes he recognizes it, sometimes he doesn’t,” he said: “It depends on who you are and if he thinks he can do it with impunity.”
Sami Chokri, known as Sami Switch, told him he was “shocked” when he first heard shape of yours on the radio.
Ed Sheeran and his co-authors Steven McCutcheon and John McDaid applied in May 2018 for the High Court to recognize that there had been no copyright infringement.
Two months later, in July, MM. Chokri and O’Donoghue, in turn, initiated legal proceedings against them.
Payment of royalties related to shape of yoursestimated at 20 million pounds sterling (24 million euros at current exchange rates), had been suspended by the collective management entity PRS.
In 2017, Ed Sheeran was also the best-selling artist in the world, according to the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI), with his third album. Divide which includes the single shape of yours.
This is not the first time the artist has been sued for plagiarism. In the United States, the heirs of soul legend Marvin Gaye have accused him of being too inspired by Let’s move on for his blow Thinking out loud.
He had also reached an economic agreement in the United States with authors who accused him of having plagiarized their song. Amazing for its title Photography. The British judge emphasized that there was no admission of liability in this case.
Some facts about Ed Sheeran
- Over 26 million albums sold;
- Five studio albums;
- 13 songs at number 1 in the UK charts, with 4 in 2021 alone;
- The music video for the song. shape of yours it has nearly 6 billion views on YouTube;
- TV appearances: Sons of Anarchy and game of Thrones;
- The singer has publicly spoken out against Brexit;
- He also spoke out against the war in Ukraine.
Sources: https://www.officialcharts.com/, Wikipedia,