In winning shape: Ed Sheeran’s copyright dispute


Mark Kramer, Georgia Carr and Mark Nichols

In winning shape: Ed Sheeran’s copyright dispute

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The musician’s notable win in the ‘Shape of You’ case underscores that legal disputes over pop songs can’t derive from coincidental similarities, say Mark Kramer, Mark Nichols, Georgia Carr of Potter Clarkson.

Following an intense 11-day trial at the High Court of England and Wales, singer Ed Sheeran successfully defended his reputation following accusations of copyright infringement launched by grime artist Sami Chokri.

Chokri (who performs under the name Sami Switch) alleged that there is a “striking similarity” between Sheeran’s number one hit ‘Shape of You’ and his own 2015 song “Oh Why”.

This decision comes after a wave of copyright infringement cases against well-known musicians. Yet, it also demonstrates that claims of this nature are difficult to succeed on in court, given both the burden of establishing copying and the growing recognition that many pop melodies and lyrics are commonplace across the industry.

Potter Clarkson, Ed Sheeran, copyright infringement, music, Shape of You, High Court of England and Wales, damages