Ed Sheeran releases emotional video after winning copyright trial

6 April 2022, 11:47 | Updated: 6 April 2022, 11:53

After a judge ruled his 2017 hit Shape Of You did not copy another artist's work, Ed Sheeran has now released a video statement.

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Ed Sheeran has criticised 'damaging' copyright claims in a video statement shared online.

The pop star and two of his co-writers - Johnny McDaid and Steve McCutcheon - were accused of plagiarising part of a track called Oh Why by Sami Chokri.

A High Court judge found in his favour, with Mr Justice Zacaroli saying Sheeran "neither deliberately nor subconsciously" copied a hook from the song.

Ed has since told fans that the copyright claims were ‘damaging’ to the songwriting industry.

Ed Sheeran appeared in court last month
Ed Sheeran appeared in court last month. Picture: Alamy

In the emotional video, he said: "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. That's 22 million songs a year and there's only 12 notes that are available."

He continued: "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.

Sam Chokri accused Ed Sheeran of plaguarism
Sam Chokri accused Ed Sheeran of plaguarism. Picture: Alamy

"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."

After thanking fans for their support, he added: "Hopefully, we can all get back to writing songs rather than having to prove that we can write them."

Ed and his two fellow songwriters also issued a statement together, saying the cost of the case was ‘not just financial’.

They said: "There is a cost on creativity. When we are tangled up in lawsuits, we are not making music or playing shows. There is a cost on our mental health.

“The stress this causes on all sides is immense. It affects so many aspects of our everyday lives and the lives of our families and friends."

Released in 2017, Shape of You was the UK's best-selling song of the year and is Spotify's most-streamed ever.

The copyright case was filed in 2018, which led to an 11-day trial in London last month.

Judge Antony Zacaroli acknowledged there were ‘similarities between the one-bar phrase’ in Shape of You and Oh Why, but added ‘such similarities are only a starting point for a possible infringement’ of copyright.

He added there were ‘differences between the relevant parts of the songs, which provide compelling evidence that the song originated from sources other than Oh Why’.