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“There’s only so many notes”, says Ed Sheeran after winning his copyright case

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Ed Sheeran’s Shape Of You was the best-selling song in the world in 2017, with over three billion plays on Spotify alone. Chokri, a grime artist known as Sami Switch, claimed the “Oh I” hook in Sheeran’s song was “strikingly similar” to a “Oh why” refrain in his own song. The star said in a video statement released after the High Court judge ruled in his favour that while they are “obviously happy with the result,” he wanted to speak out about the issue.
Following the ruling, Sheeran stated that such “baseless” claims are “way too common.” He said that, “I feel like claims like this are way too common now and have become a culture where a claim is made with the idea that a settlement will be cheaper than taking it to court, even if there’s no base for the claim.” Sheeran also added that, “It’s really damaging to the songwriting industry. There’s only so many notes 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.”
Sheeran “neither deliberately nor subconsciously” Chokri’s music, according to Judge Antony Zacaroli. He recognized that the one-bar phrase in Shape of You and Oh Why were “similar”, but added that such similarities are simply a starting point for a probable copyright violation. He found “differences in the crucial parts” of the songs after studying the musical elements, which “gives persuasive evidence that the ‘Oh I’ phrase in Sheeran’s song originated from sources other than Oh Why,” he said.
Sheeran collaborated on the song with two partners, Snow Patrol’s John McDaid and producer Steven McCutcheon, both of whom denied ever hearing the song Oh Why before. The dispute began in 2018, when the trio petitioned the High Court to rule that they had not infringed on Chokri’s and his co-writer Ross O’Donoghue’s copyright and to clear Sheeran’s name. Last month, an 11-day trial in London was held as a result of this.
During the trial, the High Court heard that £2.2 million in royalties had been frozen due to the dispute. PRS For Music is currently awaiting legal advice on when royalties will be paid out.

 

Written by: Relaks Radio

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