Ed Sheeran awarded €1 million damages in ‘Shape of You’ copyright battle

In a legal dispute over his hit song “Shape of You,” British pop star Ed Sheeran won €1 million.

In 2018 31-year-old Sheeran was sued for plagiarism by Sami Chokri and Ross O’Donoghue, who act as Sami Switch.

They claimed that the tune of his massive success, “Shape Of You,” the best-selling song in the world in 2017, was somewhat influenced by their song “Oh Why.”

The artist said the 11-day trial which took place in March was representative of “abusive practices” in the music industry.

What was the outcome in the case of Ed Sheeran?

In March, a UK High Court judge determined that Sheeran had not copied the lyrics to “Oh Why” by Chokri and O’Donoghue.

According to a subsequent judgement handed down by Judge Antony Zacaroli on June 21, the defeated plaintiffs must pay court costs in the amount of £916,200 (or €1,065,085 at the current exchange rate).

The case has been a struggle for everyone concerned, despite his victory before the nation’s top court.

What transpired in Ed Sheeran’s legal dispute?

In the courtroom presided over by Judge Antony Zacaroli, both songs were played.

The similarity between some portions “extremely remarkable,” according to Andrew Sutcliffe, speaking on Sami Switch’s behalf, and they are “nearly identical.”

Mr. Sheeran is obviously incredibly brilliant, he is a genius. He is likewise a magpie, albeit “Added he. He continued: “It depends on who you are and if he believes he can do it with impunity. He borrows concepts and throws them into his songs. Sometimes he recognises it, sometimes he doesn’t.

The attorney emphasised that his clients are “extremely good writers who deserve the same respect as any other artists and acknowledgment when it is due.”


These allegations were refuted by Ed Sheeran and his co-authors, John McDaid and Steven McCutcheon.

They had applied in May 2018 to the High Court for it to recognise that there had been no copyright violation.

Chokri and O’Donoghue then started legal actions against them in July, two months after that.

“Considered plan”

On March 15, the court heard testimony on the significant efforts taken by Chokri’s previous management company to get the Sami Switch song into Ed Sheeran’s peripheral view, increasing the likelihood that the Grammy-winning musician would have heard it.


David May, the managing director of Artists and Company (A&C), claimed in written testimony that the business had, at the time “Oh Why” was being pushed, “a concentrated plan to approach Ed Sheeran in the intention of engaging his interest in Sami’s work.”

The collective management company PRS halted the payment of royalties associated with “Shape of You,” which are thought to be worth 24 million euros. This will likely be unfrozen now.

According to the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI), Ed Sheeran’s third album, “Divide,” which included the single “Shape Of You,” made him the best-selling artist in the world in 2017.

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