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17 May 2022

Songwriters claim Ed Sheeran's Shape Of You rips off their song as trial begins

Songwriters claim Ed Sheeran's Shape Of You rips off their song as trial begins

Ed Sheeran’s hit song Shape Of You is at the centre of a High Court copyright row.

Sheeran is involved in a legal battle with two songwriters who claim the 2017 hit rips off parts of their song Oh Why, and a three-week trial is due to start on Friday in London.

Sami Chokri and Ross O’Donoghue allege that Shape Of You infringes “particular lines and phrases” of their composition.

Sheeran and his co-authors for the song issued legal proceedings in May 2018, asking the High Court to declare that they had not infringed Mr Chokri and Mr O’Donoghue’s copyright.

Two months later, in July 2018, Mr Chokri and Mr O’Donoghue issued their own claim for “copyright infringement, damages and an account of profits in relation to the alleged infringement”, according to the latest ruling.

Shape Of You was a worldwide hit, becoming the best-selling song of 2017 in the UK, and the most streamed song in the history of Spotify.

In a November 2020 ruling, Judge Francesca Kaye said the parties involved in the case “anticipated that they would incur costs in the region of £3m between them on this dispute”.

The case is due to be heard from 10.30am on Friday and is expected to last for up to three weeks.

Sheeran may be called to give evidence but it is not known if or when he will attend the court.

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