The world-famous British singer and songwriter, Ed Sheeran has won a U.K. High Court copyright lawsuit over his 2017 hit song ”Shape of You” was the second single off Sheeran’s third studio album. The soundtrack debuted on top the Billboard Hot 100 chart and became the UK’s highest-selling track in 2017. “Shape of You” has registered 2.2 billion on-demand streams in the U.S and 2.98 million U.S downloads, according to Luminate, formerly MRC Data, while the track has logged 9.2 billion in cumulative U.S. radio audience impressions.
In December, “Shape of You” became the first song to reach three billion streams on Spotify. The song also won best pop solo performance at the 60th Annual Grammy Awards.
In 2018, singer Sami Switch (Sam Chokri) sued Ed Sheeran for allegedly plagiarizing his 2015 song “Oh Why.” The plaintiff claimed Sheeran and “Shape of You” co-writers and producer Steve Mac and Johnny McDaid had stolen “Oh Why’s” melody for Sheeran’s 2017 top song which gave Sheeran lot of titles and fame.
Switch and his “Oh Why” co-writer Ross O’Donoghue specifically pointed to the “Oh I” phrase in “Shape of You,” claiming it was very similar to portions of their song.
On April 6 2022, After an 11-day trial High Court Judge ruled Sheeran had not plagiarized Sami Switch’song who accused Sheeran of stealing the melody from his 2015 song ”Oh Why”. Judge Antony Zacaroli ruled that Sheeran had “neither deliberately nor subconsciously copied”. He acknowledged there were “similarities between the one-bar phrase” in ‘Shape of You’ and ‘Oh Why’, but said “such similarities are only a starting point for a possible infringement” of copyright.
Sheeran said, “While we’re obviously 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’s no base for the claim. It’s really damaging to the songwriting industry. There’s only so many notes and very few chords used in pop music. Coincidence is bound to happen if 60,000 songs are being released every day on Spotify.”