Shape of You: Ed Sheeran’s legal battle over song’s copyright begins

Ed Sheeran has appeared at the High Court for the start of a three-week legal battle over the copyright of his song Shape Of You.

The 31-year-old singer defends his tropical pop hit Shape Of You in the High Court, after songwriters Sami Chokri and Ross O’Donoghue claim it infringes “lines and phrases” in their song Oh Why.

The two musicians claim his 2017 hit rips off parts of their song Oh Why, which was released in March 2015.

The two songs in question share a similar refrain and melody.

The star has previously tried to put a stop to the copyright row, issuing legal proceedings in May 2018, asking the High Court to declare that he and the song’s co-authors had not infringed Mr Chokri and Mr O’Donoghue’s copyright.

However, two months later, in July 2018, Mr Chokri and Mr O’Donoghue issued their own claim for “copyright infringement, damages and an account of profits in relation to the alleged infringement,” according to the latest ruling.

It’s a case in which the stakes are high.

In a November 2020 ruling, Judge Francesca Kaye said the parties involved “anticipated that they would incur costs in the region of £3 million between them on this dispute”.

Shape Of You appeared on Sheeran’s album “Divide ÷” which was released in 2017, with his team saying the track was written in October 2016.

The tune was a worldwide hit and the most streamed song in the history of Spotify.

It was also the best-selling song of 2017 in the UK.

Sheeran has since become one of the world’s best-selling musicians.

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