Ed Sheeran Testifies At 'Shape Of You' Copyright Infringement Trial
Ed Sheeran is back in a London court on Tuesday facing accusations that he copied a 2015 song for his massive 2017 hit “Shape of You.”
On Monday, the singer denied that he borrowed from “Oh Why” by Sami Chokri and Ross O’Donoghue, a track Chokri recorded under the name Sami Switch.
“I do refer to other works on occasion when I write, as do many songwriters,” Sheeran testified, according to multiple reports. “If there is a reference to another work, I notify my team so that steps can be taken to obtain clearance.
“I have been as scrupulous as I possibly can and have even given credits to people who I believe may have been no more than a mere influence for a songwriting element. This is because I want to treat other songwriters fairly.”
Chokri and O’Donoghue made a copyright infringement claim against Sheeran and his co-writers, alleging that “Shape of You” uses “particular lines and phrases” in their song.
Sheeran, Steven McCutcheon (aka Steve Mac) and Johnny McDaid have been unable to collect millions of dollars in royalties from “Shape of You” while the case is before the court. (The writers of TLC’s 1999 hit “No Scrubs” were given credits on “Shape of You” following its release due to similarities.)
Sheeran has denied ever hearing “Oh Why.”
He admitted that he settled a copyright infringement case over his song “Photograph” in 2017 because it was “more trouble than it was worth” but he denied copying the song “Amazing” by Thomas Leonard and Martin Harrington.
“Even though I felt that I had done nothing wrong, we decided to settle the case because of the money and time it would take to fight it,” he recalled. “However, that left me with a very bad feeling afterwards. The decision to settle felt morally weird given that we were innocent of the allegations made. It made me feel like I did not want to play the song any more.”
The trial is expected to last three weeks.
Listen to music from Ed Sheeran