Ed Sheeran calls for end to 'baseless' copyright claims after winning court battle over Shape of You

Sheeran has called for an end to baseless claims of plagiarism in the music industry.
Credit: PA
Ed Sheeran has won his copyright battle Credit: PA

Ed Sheeran has called for the end of "baseless claims" of plagiarism in the music industry after winning a High Court copyright battle over his hit Shape Of You.

The singer and co-writers John McDaid and Steven McCutcheon were accused of ripping off Sami Chokri and Ross O'Donoghue's 2015 song Oh Why.

In a video shared on Instagram, Sheeran said: "Hey guys, me, Johnny and Steve have made a joint statement that will be press-released on the outcome of this case but I wanted to make a small video to talk about it a bit because I've not really been able to say anything while it's been going on.

"While we are happy with the result, I feel like claims like this are way too common now and have become a culture where a claim is made with the idea that a settlement will be cheaper than taking it to court, even if there is no basis for the claim, and it's really damaging to the songwriting industry.

"There are only so many notes and very few chords used in pop music and coincidences are bound to happen if 60,000 songs are being released a day on Spotify, that is 22 million songs a year, and there are only 12 notes that are available.

"I don't want to take anything away from the pain and hurt suffered from both sides of this case but I just want to say I'm not an entity, I'm not a corporation, I'm a human being, I'm a father, I'm a husband, I'm a son.

"Lawsuits are not a pleasant experience and I hope with this ruling it means in the future baseless claims like this can be avoided. This really does have to end.

"Me, Johnny and Steve are very grateful for all the support sent to us by fellow songwriters over the last few weeks. Hopefully we can all get back to writing songs rather than having to prove we can write them."

The judge said the musical hook in question was "short, simple, commonplace and obvious" Credit: PA

The ruling was made in a written judgement issued on Wednesday morning following an 11-day trial.

Mr Justice Zacaroli concluded that Mr Sheeran “neither deliberately nor subconsciously” copied a phrase from Oh Why when writing Shape of You.