The Ed Sheeran trial concerning alleged plagiarism in his song “The Shape Of You” continues.
The “Bad Habits” singer has not seen any of his £20m in royalties, which has been frozen until claims of copyright infringement have been resolved.
Sami Chokri and Ross O’Donoghue have claimed that Sheeran’s 2017 single “Shape Of You” stole “particular lines and phrases” from their 2015 song “Oh Why.” Chokri claims that he actually sent “Oh Why” to Sheeran in the hopes of a collaboration.
Previously, co-writer John McDaid of Snow Patrol fame called the idea that they plagiarized the song “abhorrent.” McDaid has previously written for Pink, Alicia Keys, and BTS.
John McDaid Says Plagiarism Is ‘Abhorrent’ In Court Testimony
Sheeran, McDaid, and co-writer Steve Mac have all been accused of plagiarizing “Oh Why.” As the BBC reported, During the trial, McDaid said that he never heard the song “in any way.”
“I have been a professional songwriter for many years and have achieved substantial success,” he wrote in court papers. “I do need or want to, nor would I ever, plagiarise other people’s work. The idea is abhorrent to me.”
Although they gave TLC a songwriting credit over similarities between the two songs, the court also heard that Sheeran and McDaid had settled a previous plagiarism case over the song “Photograph.”
McDaid rejected the idea that the previous settlement suggested that he “was in the habit of consciously or sub-consciously appropriating the skill and labour of other songwriters during my songwriting and recording sessions.”
“I wholeheartedly disagree with this implication,” he said. “It is simply not true and I feel that is a very serious thing to suggest about me and how I work.”
He said that the settlement was reached under legal advice, and not because they actually felt that they had committed plagiarism.
“It was not settled because we believed that we had copied Amazing in any way,” he said, adding that the U.S. had a “culture” of copyright trials not “going favourably for songwriters at all.” McDaid might be making a reference to the trial where Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams were found guilty when “Blurred Lines” was accused of having a similar “feel” to Marvin Gaye’s “Got To Give It Up.”
Late Jamal Edwards Said Ed Sheeran’s Copyright Trial Is ‘Ridiculous’
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Unfortunately, Sheeran’s close friend Jamal Edwards passed away last month. He was only 31 years old. The SBTV helped launch the careers of Sheeran, “Bang Bang” singer Jessie J, and even Rita Ora. His mother expressed a statement saying that he passed away of a sudden illness.
The Independent noted that Edwards had signed a statement on September 27, 2021 saying that he knew both Sheeran and Chokri independently, but did not know about the court case until he was asked to give a witness statement.
According to Chokri, Edwards had posted a “shift-eyes emoji” on his Facebook post shortly after “Shape of You” was released. However, in his signed statement, Edwards said, “I have no recollection of posting, or deleting, a ‘shifty eyes’ emoji on Sami’s Facebook page, as he says I did.”
He added, “This, ie that there was a similarity between the ‘Oh Why/Oh I chorus’, is not a view that I recall having, indeed I do not recall ever having heard ‘Oh Why’, and therefore do not believe that this is a view I had.”
However, lawyers for Chokri insist that it is “highly likely” that Edwards had listened to the song “Oh Why” and stated that it was “unequivocal” that he had posted a shifty-eyes emoji.
On Monday, Sheeran had stated that he did not share music with his “best friend” in 2015 and 2016; Chokri’s lawyers insisted that Sheeran’s claim was “not credible.” Sheeran insisted that he had only shared music with Edwards “in the last couple of years.”
For his part, Edwards had written that it was “very strange” that he was not told about the copyright trial before he was asked to provide a statement.
He said, “Neither Sami nor anyone else on his behalf has ever spoken to me about the claim, including before using my name to suggest that I thought Ed had done something ‘doubtful or nefarious’. I think Sami has not called me about this because he knows it is ridiculous. Either way, I am very surprised by the whole situation.”