Global pop star singer and songwriter Ed Sheeran won a copyright case over his 2017 hit song Shape of You on Wednesday 6 April 2022 in the U.K. High Court.
The plaintiff Sami Chokri, who performs under the name Sami Switch, alleged that Sheeran’s 2017 hit Shape of You is “indisputably similar” with Chokri’s 2015 song Oh Why and that Sheeran and his co-writers had Chokri’s song in their heads “consciously or unconsciously” when they wrote Shape of You. You can listen to Shape of You at this link and Chokri’s Oh Why at this link.
Specifically, the plaintiff alleged that the refrain “Oh I, Oh I, Oh I” in the chorus of Shape of You was “strikingly similar” to the line “Oh why, Oh why, Oh why” in their track.
The plaintiff’s argument failed to persuade High Court Judge Antony Zacaroli, who dismissed the plaintiff’s case and held that Sheeran “neither deliberately nor subconsciously” copied any phrase from Chokri’s Oh Why when writing Shape of You. Sheeran welcomed the ruling and publicly condemned the plaintiff’s action as part of culture of baseless lawsuits intended to extort settlement money out of artists who fear the expense and emotional toll of a trial.
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