Ed Sheeran Calls Out "Damaging" and "Baseless" Copyright Claims After "Shape of You" Victory

After a judge ruled against a claim of copyright infringement based on Ed Sheeran's 2017 hit, "Shape of You," the 31-year-old singer took to Instagram to discuss his legal win.

By Kisha Forde Apr 06, 2022 1:38 PMTags

After scoring a legal victory in court, Ed Sheeran is thinking about it out loud.

According to court documents obtained by E! News, a judge ruled on April 6 that the 31-year-old singer, along with co-authors Steven McCutcheon and John McDaid, "neither deliberately nor subconsciously copied" elements from the track, "Oh Why"—which was written by Sami Chokri and Ross O'Donoghue, and released in 2015—for Sheeran's 2017 hit, "Shape of You."

After the ruling, which came after an 11-day trial in London, the Grammy winner shared his thoughts on the matter in a video posted to his Instagram.
"Me, Johnny and Steve have made a joint statement that will be press released on the outcome of this case, but I wanted to make a small video to talk about it a bit because I've not really been able to say anything whilst it's been going on," he said in the April 6 clip. "Whilst we're obviously happy with the result, I feel like claims like this [are] way too common now."

Ed Sheeran and Cherry Seaborn's Road to Baby

"And have become a culture where a claim is made with the idea that settlement will be cheaper than taking it to court," he added. "Even if there's no basis for the claim."

NBC/Dan Martensen

"It's really damaging to the songwriting industry," Sheeran continued. "There's only so many nights 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."

Stating that he doesn't "want to take anything away from the pain and hurt suffered from both sides of this case," he added, "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."

Kevin Mazur/MTV VMAs 2021/Getty Images for MTV/ ViacomCBS

In his statement, Sheeran expressed that he hopes this outcome is seen as part of a bigger picture. "Lawsuits are not a pleasant experience," he said. "And I hope that this ruling means in the future baseless claims like this can be avoided. This really does have to end. Me, Johnny and Steve are very grateful for all the support sent to us by fellow songwriters over the last few weeks. Hopefully we can all get back to writing songs rather than having to prove that we can write them."

The court proceedings, filed in the U.K., were first initiated by Sheeran and his co-authors in May 2018, in which they sought declarations that they didn't infringe copyright from the 2015 single, "Oh Why." Their motion came after defendants Chokri and O'Donoghue stated to the Performing Rights Society Limited that they should receive songwriting credits on "Shape of You."

E! News has reached out to Chokri and O'Donoghue for comment and has not heard back.