British pop star Ed Sheeran has been taken to court over alleged copyright violations regarding his hit song, Shape Of You, which released in 2017 to critical and commercial success.
Sami Chokri and Ross O’Donoghue are accusing the star of ripping off parts of their track Oh Why, with their legal representative Andrew Sutcliffe QC backing the claims by describing Sheeran as “an obsessive music squirrel” who consumed music “voraciously.”
Sheeran denied having ever heard Chokri and O’Donoghue’s song Oh Why, prior to writing and recording his song Shape Of You.
At one point during the proceedings, an unreleased song was played, which according to Sheeran was recorded in January of 2021, angering the pop star. An apology was made to Sheeran following the incident.
Sheeran’s witness statement was read before the court in which he detailed the creative process of writing music and how he goes out of his way to credit artists and songs who directly influence his music.
“I always tried to be completely fair in crediting anyone who makes any contribution to any song I write”, adding that he had 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 song writing element,” said Sheeran.
This is the fourth allegation against Sheeran for copying from other artists. The first being his song Photograph being a note for note copy of Amazing by X Factor UK winner, Matt Cardle. Then again in 2017 and 2018, the estate of Ed Townsend, the co-writer of Marvin Gaye’s Let’s Get It On, attempted to take Sheeran to court for his song Thinking Out Loud, supposedly copying Gaye’s song.
It is still unclear whether or not Sheeran will have to pay any compensation or royalties to Chokri and O’Donoghue.
Written by Mansour Shukoor