After a multi year legal battle, Ed Sheeran scored another legal win. Ed Sheeran took home seven figures in his copyright lawsuit over “Shape of You”, which debuted in 2017. A British judge ruled the 31-year-old artist was entitled to $1.1 million to cover his legal fees. Sheeran won the case earlier this year and was effectively cleared of wrongdoing.
Judge Anthony Zacaroli wrote in his decision, “The starting point is to identify the winners and losers in the action because the general rule is that the unsuccessful party pays the cost of the successful party”. “There is no dispute as to this: [Sheeran] undoubtedly won and won on every substantial point. I consider it is appropriate that the claimants’ success is reflected in an order that their costs are paid by the defendants”.
Background of the case:
Ross O’Donoghue and Sami Chokri sued Sheeran in 2018 for allegedly ripping of his 2015 record “Oh Why”. They claimed Sheeran, along with his co-writers Johnny McDaid and Steve McCutcheon, copied “particular lines and phrases” from “Oh Why”. Zacaroli determined the defendants, “neither deliberately nor subconciously” plagiarized “Oh Why” “despite clear similarities between the songs”.
Sheeran’s Reaction to the lawsuit ending:
Ed Sheeran underscored the damage of these kinds of lawsuits in an Instagram video. He stated, “While we’re obviously happy with the result, I feel like claims like this are way too common now. They 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, it’s really damaging to the songwriter 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 everyday on Spotify”.