Ed Sheeran’s $5.4 million copyright battle over the hit song Shape of You continued with two songwriters accusing him of being a ‘magpie’ who ‘borrows songs’. ideas”.
Ed Sheeran has been accused of being a ‘magpie’ in a major High Court battle where it was claimed he ripped off other singers’ music for part of his hit Shape of You.
The star appeared in court today with a large entourage over the battle where songwriters Sami Chokri and Ross O’Donoghue claim the song infringes parts of one of their songs.
They say the chorus of Sheeran’s song, which says “oh je oh je oh je”, was cut from their refrain “oh why oh why oh why”.
They made statements on social media.
Sheeran and his co-writers of the song filed a lawsuit in May 2018, asking the High Court to declare that they had not infringed the copyrights of Mr Chokri and Mr O’Donoghue.
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Two months later, in July 2018, Mr. Chokri and Mr. O’Donoghue filed their own suit for “copyright infringement, damages and profit account in connection with the alleged infringement”.
Now the battle has hit the High Court.
Andrew Sutcliffe QC, representing Mr Chokri and Mr O’Donoghue, told the court: “Mr Sheeran is undeniably very talented.
“He’s a genius.
“But it’s also a magpie. He borrows ideas and throws them into songs.
“Sometimes he recognizes it. And sometimes it doesn’t.
Mr Sheeran seemed upset by the magpie’s remark and quickly began writing a memo which was passed on to his large legal team.
Mr Sutcliffe said the hitmaker had ‘won a lot of awards’ and was very famous.
He added: “They (Mr. Chokri and Mr. O’Donoghue) are not Shaggy, Coldplay or Rihanna.
“If they were, it would have been handled very differently.”
The fire-haired superstar, 30had its royalties frozen for the top-selling single after musician Sami Chokri claimed he had ripped off his work.
He’s likely missed millions since the 2018 ruling by the Performing Rights Society, which decides royalty payments.
The hearing will last three weeks.
Mr. Sheeran is due to testify Monday and Tuesday.
This is a case where the stakes are high.
In a November 2020 decision, Judge Francesca Kaye said the parties involved “expected that they would incur costs of approximately £3 million (AUD$5.4 million) between themselves in this dispute”.
Mr Sheeran had previously settled a 2017 copyright infringement claim against him in the United States, relating to another of his hit songs called Photograph, the court heard.
Songwriters Thomas Leonard and Martin Harrington have sued the singer, claiming his ballad has a similar structure to their song, Amazing.
The case was settled for more than £4million (A$7.2million) according to court documents released yesterday.
This article originally appeared on The Sun and is reproduced here with permission