Ed Sheeran awaits verdict over copyright court battle

Posted at 6:31 PM, March 22, 2022 and last updated 4:22 PM, July 5, 2023

An 11-day trial over the copyright of Ed Sheeran’s hit song “Shape of You” concluded in London on Tuesday, with the judge saying he would take some time to consider his ruling.

The British pop star and his co-writers, Snow Patrol’s John McDaid and producer Steven McCutcheon, deny accusations that the 2017 song copies part of a 2015 song called “Oh Why” by Sami Chokri, who performs under the name Sami Switch.

Musician Ed Sheeran arrives at the Rolls Building, High Court in central London, Tuesday, March 15, 2022. Songwriters Sami Chokri and Ross O’Donoghue claimed Sheeran’s 2017 hit song ‘Shape of You’ infringes parts of one of their songs. Sheeran denied he “borrows” ideas from unknown songwriters.(AP Photo/Frank Augstein)

Lawyer Andrew Sutcliffe, representing the “Oh Why” co-writers, argued there was an “indisputable similarity between the works” and suggested the chances of two songs that “correlate” appearing within months of each other was “minutely small.”

The lawyer claimed that Sheeran had “Oh Why” “consciously or unconsciously in his head” when “Shape of You” was written in 2016. He also alleged that Sheeran, who attended the hearing throughout, was dishonest and evasive in giving evidence to the trial.

Sheeran and his co-writers say they have disclosed material to the trial and do not remember hearing “Oh Why” before the court case.

Justice Antony Zacaroli said Tuesday he would deliver his judgment “as soon as I can.”

“Shape of You” was the biggest selling song in the U.K. in 2017.