Ed Sheeran and his co-authors of Shape Of You have been awarded more than £ 900,000 in legal fees after winning the copyright lawsuit over “unfounded” claims for the hit earlier this year.
Sheeran and two of his co-authors – Snow Patrol’s Johnny McDade and producer Steve McCutchen, known as Steve Mac – have been accused of plagiarizing part of a song called Oh Why by Sami Chokri, a dirty Sami Switch artist and co-star. – writer Ross O’Donoghue.
But in April, after a Supreme Court trial in March, the judge hearing the case ruled that the star “neither intentionally nor subconsciously” tore off the hook from the song when he wrote the phrase “Oh I” for Shape Of You.
In a recent ruling, Mr Justice Zacaroli said lesser-known songwriters had to pay the costs of the case, ordering an interim payment of £ 916,200, an amount expected to be assessed and finalized at the next hearing.
After Sheeran won the case, Chokri and O’Donoghue’s lawyers argued that the star and the other plaintiffs had to pay their own costs, claiming they had not provided documents and had demonstrated “inconvenience and opacity.”
However, issuing the order for costs on Tuesday, the judge said: “I consider it appropriate that the success of the plaintiffs be reflected in their order to be paid by the defendants, without reduction except for what was done as part of the detailed evaluation process. “
He also rejected arguments that Chokri and O’Donoghue would have changed their approach to the case if some documents and explanations of how Shape Of You was written had been provided earlier.
“None of the revelations or explanations once given to the accused made them change their approach at all,” said Judge Zacaroli.
“Instead, they not only continued their attack on Mr. Sheeran, but expanded it, claiming that he was the ‘magpie’ who habitually appropriates ideas for songs from other authors.”
A lawsuit was initially filed by Sheeran, his co-authors and their music companies in May 2018, asking the Supreme Court to declare that they had not infringed on the copyrights of Chocri and O’Donoghue.
Chocri and O’Donoghue filed their own lawsuit two months later for “copyright infringement, damages and a profit statement in connection with the alleged infringement.”
However, after hearing the evidence in the trial, Judge Zacaroli dismissed the counterclaim.
In a video statement released after the sentencing, Sheeran told fans “unfounded” copyright claims have been “harmful” to the songwriting industry.
“I am not a corporation. “I am a human being,” he said. “I am a father, I am a husband, I am a son. Litigation is not a pleasant experience and I hope this decision will mean that unfounded claims like this can be avoided in the future.”
Shape Of You from the Divide star’s album is his biggest hit – with about 5.26 million sales in the charts (combined sales and streams) by November 2021, according to official charts. It spent 13 consecutive weeks at number one in 2017 – the UK’s best-selling song of the year – and is the UK’s best-selling song of all time.
About £ 2.2 million in fees were frozen during the dispute, the Supreme Court heard during an 11-day trial in central London.
The charges against Sheeran and his co-authors
Chocri and O’Donoghue claim that the central hook “Oh I” in Shape Of You is “strikingly similar” to the refrain “Oh Why” in their own composition, with Chocri telling the court that he felt “robbed” after he heard it.
However, Sheeran, McDade and McCutten denied knowing Oh Why before writing Shape Of You.
During two days in the witness box testifying, Sheeran told the court that he was not an artist who “changed” words and music belonging to others to “pass as the original”, and denied that “borrows” ideas from unknown songwriters without recognition.
He told the court that he “has always tried to be completely fair” in lending to people who contribute to his music. The star also denied using lawsuits to “intimidate” lesser-known songwriters, saying he was in court only to “clear my name”.
What did the judge say?
After the hearing, the judge concluded that although there were “similarities” between the OW (Oh Why) hook and the OI (Oh I) phrase, there were also “significant differences” and that “such similarities are only a starting point for possible infringement”. .
He also said that “convincing evidence” has been provided that shows that Shape Of You “comes from sources other than” Oh Why “and that allegations that Sheeran heard the song before writing his own are “No more than ‘speculative’.”
Sky News contacted Chokri representatives to comment on the decision on costs.
Ed Sheeran awards over £ 900,000 in legal fees after winning the copyright of Shape Of You | Ents & Arts News
Source link Ed Sheeran awards over £ 900,000 in legal fees after winning the copyright of Shape Of You | Ents & Arts News