Ed Sheeran denies borrowing ideas in ‘Shape of You’ copyright lawsuit


LONDON, March 7 (Reuters) – British singer Ed Sheeran has denied simply altering other artists’ music and lyrics to pass off their work as his own, as he gave evidence in a copyright trial on Monday regarding his 2017 hit “Shape.” Of you”.

The award-winning singer is in a legal battle with grime artist Sami Chokri, who plays Sami Switch, and music producer Ross O’Donoghue, who claim ‘Shape of You’ violates ‘particular lines and phrases. from their 2015 song “Oh Why”.

Questioned by their lawyer Andrew Sutcliffe at the High Court in London, Sheeran, 31, said he had no knowledge of Switch at the time he is accused of ripping off parts of ‘Oh Why’, and had never heard the song in court. Case.

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“I have already built a long and very successful career writing original songs for myself and a wide range of other top artists,” Sheeran said in her witness statement. “I couldn’t have done that if I had a habit of plagiarizing other writers.”

Sutcliffe said Sheeran must have known the grime artist, who he said tweeted him directly and that they both appeared on SBTV, the UK online music platform that helped launch Sheeran’s career .

The lawyer said Sheeran shouted Switch’s name at the Reading Festival in 2011 after being invited by his best friend Jamal Edwards, the late founder of SBTV.

“It’s not true,” Sheeran told the High Court in London on the second day of the trial which began on Friday.

Chokri and O’Donoghue say the “Oh I” hook in “Shape Of You” is “strikingly similar” to the “Oh Why” hook in their song and that it was “extremely likely” that Sheeran had heard their track before.

Sheeran and his co-authors denied this.

Sutcliffe, who at Friday’s opening called Sheeran “a magpie”, asked the chart leader extensively about his writing style and whether it was spontaneous or the result of development over time, with the influence of other artists.

The attorney said there was overwhelming evidence at the time of writing “Shape of You” that Sheeran was gathering ideas before writing songs.

“You alter words and music that belong to other people just enough to think they’ll pass as original,” Sutcliffe told him.

Sheeran, who answered the questions with confidence, although he sometimes seemed upset by them, dismissed that claim. He described his songs as “bottles of excitement” in his statement and said he wrote them in two hours and recently composed 25 songs in a week.

Sheeran was also asked about his decision to settle a claim over his 2015 song “Photograph” which two musicians said had the same lineup as their song “Amazing.”

Sheeran agreed to cede 35% of publishing revenue, acknowledged the musicians as co-writers, and paid them over $5 million. When asked why he did this rather than go to trial for what he described as a “nuisance”, Sheeran replied, “I took the advice of my lawyers.”

Off Sheeran’s third studio album “÷”, “Shape of You” stormed the charts around the world when it was released in January 2017, becoming the top charting song in the United States that year.

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Reporting by Michael Holden and Marie-Louise Gumuchian; Editing by Nick Macfie, Andrew Heavens and David Gregorio

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