Ed Sheeran is fighting a copyright lawsuit over his hit single “Shape of You.”
The case, which is being heard in London’s High Court, is the culmination of a 4-year legal battle between Sheeran and songwriters Sami Chokri and Ross O’Donoghue.
Chokri, a grime artist, is better known under his pseudonym Sami Switch. O’Donoghue is a producer. They are claiming that “Shape of You” bears similarities to Chakri’s single “Oh Why.”
Sheeran is credited as the author of “Shape of You” alongside Snow Patrol singer Johnny McDaid and producer Steven McCutcheon (professionally known as Steve Mac).
In 2018 Sheeran, McDaid and McCutcheon – alongside Sony/ATV Music Publishing, Rokstone Music Limited, Polar Patrol Music and Kobalt Music – issued legal proceedings against Chokri and O’Donoghue in a bid to get a legal declaration saying there was no copyright infringement.
Two months later, Chokri and O’Donoghue issued a counterclaim alleging copyright infringement and asking for damages and an account of profits, according to reports.
“Shape of You” was a huge hit following its release and in 2021 it became the first Spotify track to hit 3 billion streams.
However, the Performing Rights Society (PRS), which collects royalties on behalf of artists, has suspended royalties to Sheeran, McDaid and McCutcheon while the dispute is ongoing, according to reports.
It is not the first time Sheeran has been sued over copyright infringement. In 2016 he was sued over his single “Photograph,” and two years later was sued for $100 million “Thinking Out Loud.”
The lawsuit over “Photograph” was settled out of court but the battle over “Thinking Out Loud” is believed to still be ongoing.
The latest trial, which is expected to last three weeks, is now being heard before Mr Justice Zacaroli.
Representatives for Sheeran, Sony Music Publishing, Chokri and O’Donoghue did not respond by press time.