Ed Sheeran Denies ‘Borrowing’ Music in Plagiarism Lawsuit

Ed Sheeran is currently facing copyright allegations, having been accused of plagiarizing music for his hit song ‘Shape Of You’ from other artists.

The ‘Shivers’ singer appeared in London’s High Court on Monday to testify against the claims. 

The original plagiarism claims stemmed from a 2017 legal battle with songwriters Sami Chokri and Ross O’Donoghue, who claimed that the chart-topping ‘Shape Of You’ was inspired by their song ‘Oh Why’.

The pair claimed that Sheeran’s tune ‘Oh I’ hook in ‘Shape Of You’ is “strikingly similar” to ‘Oh Why’. In their official complaint they allege that Sheeran’s song infringes “particular lines and phrases” from their track. 

When questioned by their duo’s lawyer Andrew Sutcliffe in court, Sheeran claimed that he had never heard their song, or even of their band, prior to writing ‘Shape Of You’. 

"I have already built a long and very successful career writing original songs for both myself and a wide range of other leading artists," Sheeran said in his witness statement. "I would not have been able to do that if I was in the habit of plagarising other writers.”

Sutcliffe went on to claim that the 31-year-old singer-songwriter called out the duo’s band name (Switch) at 2011’s Reading Festival, which Sheeran denied. 

The lawyer described Sheeran as “a magpie” as hearing’s recommenced on Friday (March 4), conjecturing that the singer was collecting ideas from other artists. He claims it was “simply not true” that Sheeran came up with his lyrics on his own. 

Sheeran vehemently denied the allegations. 

The trial over ‘Shape Of You’ comes only a few years after Sheeran faced plagiarism allegations regarding his 2015 song ‘Photograph’. In that case Sheeran agreed to settle with his accusers, giving them 35% of the song’s publishing revenues, billed them as co-writers, and paid them a settlement of $5million. At the time the singer said he taken “the advice of my lawyers” and hadn’t taken the pair of songwriters to court because it was a “nuisance”.

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