Poll: Ed Sheeran wins ‘Shape of You’ copyright case, slams 'damaging' lawsuits

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by dance_hall_keeper, Apr 7, 2022.

  1. dance_hall_keeper

    dance_hall_keeper Forum Resident Thread Starter

    From BBC News:

    Ed Sheeran has warned that pop stars should not be allowed to be "easy targets" for
    copyright claims after winning his court battle with the writers of a song they claimed he
    had plagiarised.

    A High Court judge ruled that the singer had not copied part of his hit, 'Shape of You', from
    'Oh Why', by Sami Chokri.


    Musician Ed Sheeran arrives at the Rolls Building, High Court, in central London on
    15 March 2022. Songwriters Sami Chokri and Ross O'Donoghue claimed Sheeran's 2017 hit
    song, 'Shape of You' copied parts of one of their songs.
    Image: Frank Augstein/The Associated Press.

    It’s litigants time, so let’s see what each side has to offer, along with giving
    us a chance to put on a powdered wig and play... "You Be The Judge"!

    First, the Plaintiffs with their main piece of evidence:

    “Oh Why” - Sami Switch Official Video, followed by...
    supernaut likes this.
  2. dance_hall_keeper

    dance_hall_keeper Forum Resident Thread Starter

    the Defence’s primary evidence:

    “Shape of You” Official Video - Ed Sheeran.
  3. thematinggame

    thematinggame Forum Resident

    the oh why bit sounds the same
  4. Doctor Jimmy

    Doctor Jimmy From Bach to the Beach Boys

    South Korea
    I f#!#%& hate "Shape of You". It is my most hated song of all time. I've been forced to listen to it too much when it was a hit, because it was everywhere in every cafe and bar! I hate its ridiculous lyrics and tune itself is so mundane and annoying.

    But even though I hate Shape of You like a plague, it is unfair to call it plagiarism because one line of the melody overlaps. Such things can happen by chance. You know that millions of songs are released every year...
  5. dance_hall_keeper

    dance_hall_keeper Forum Resident Thread Starter

    There seems to be a recent uptick in these sort of cases.

    Ed Sheeran? I've heard of him.

    Sami Switch? Who?

    In the final analysis, it almost seems as if both sides can claim victory.
  6. katieinthecoconut

    katieinthecoconut Forum Resident

    United Kingdom
    It seemed very obvious he was being falsely accused. He demonstrated during the trial that many songs use that some progression, I believe he even sung a Nina Simone song to demonstrate it.

    Also, it takes a lot to assume he'd have cared to listen to this Sami Switch person who is clearly a thorough irrelevance and will go back to being so thereafter.

    The more music that exists, the more of a problem this generally is. Music inherently has similarities to other music. I don't even get the Olivia Rodrigo and Paramore thing people kept talking about.
  7. Rfreeman

    Rfreeman Senior Member

    Lawrenceville, NJ
    Given similarity of oh why bit both lyrically and melodically I think he should have paid them off in an out of court settlement - unless there were other tracks using those words with that melody before.

    It is similar enough for a valid claim for partial credit if they could prove he had heard their track, which was not famous enough for there to be a presumption that he had.
  8. Kingsley Fats

    Kingsley Fats Forum Resident

  9. dance_hall_keeper

    dance_hall_keeper Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Based on the merits of each song only, your vote happens to be for…?
  10. fluxkit

    fluxkit Man-Machine

    I have never heard any of these songs and won't start now. But I will say most of these copyright suits seem absurd. I think Sheeran's comments are right for most cases. Otherwise every blues song should be giving royalties to the estate of the earliest bluesmen from the 1920s and every ska or reggae song should be paying out to Desmond Dekker and the Skatalites or whoever from back then.
  11. Ryan Lux

    Ryan Lux Senior Member

    Toronto, ON, CA
    I basically agree with Sheeran. However, this is the consequence of elevating such unoriginal music to the top of the heap. That’s not Sheeran’s fault though.
  12. no.nine

    no.nine (not his real name)

    I think this view is unrealistic. Just because Artist B isn't as popular or successful as Artist A doesn't mean that A hasn't heard B. Of course, hearing the other artist doesn't automatically translate to A ripping B off either, but it's always a possibility. In this particular case, I have no opinion because I haven't followed it at all. I'm just addressing the generality of this common opinion that a claim must have no merit if the plaintiff isn't as much of a cultural force as the defendant.

    This, I agree with.
    Mr Sam likes this.
  13. I think the lawsuit is frivolous. The main similarity between these two songs is that they both suck. The court made the right decision but cases like this are a waste of the court's time and the plaintiff should be stuck with court costs.
  14. dance_hall_keeper

    dance_hall_keeper Forum Resident Thread Starter

    In the UK, or elsewhere dealing with copyright infringement for that matter, is an appeal of this case possible by the Plaintiffs or is it a matter of “one and done”?
  15. I suspect that there are dozens of other tracks out there using those words with that melody. It would be a job to track them down. One problem with easy out of court settlements is that it may encourage further lawsuits.
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2022
    bob60 and Chris DeVoe like this.
  16. Saturns Pattern

    Saturns Pattern Forum Resident

    I couldn't have said it better myself :laugh:

    It's fair to say that Ed Sheeran's music is quite categorically not my thing, but even with that in mind I've always been able to understand (in some small way) the popularity of things that either don't chime with me or I dislike. In the case of Ed Sheeran, I really don't get it at all. Not only do I find his music really tasteless and bland, like real bottom-of-the-barrel lowest common denominator stuff, but I think as a personality he's quite bland also. I mean, I don't like Lewis Capaldi's music either at all, but at least I can see how his "wacky" persona (which I've always felt to be really at odds with his music anyway) can have some sort of appeal to those of a similar age as him. Ed Sheeran? He's just so edge-less in every single conceivable way.
  17. Rfreeman

    Rfreeman Senior Member

    Lawrenceville, NJ
    Love Sheeran's tune myself. The other not at all. But that's irrelevant.
    jymy likes this.
  18. Eric_Generic

    Eric_Generic Enigma

    Would have made more sense, and wasted less court time. But maybe not so good for publicity (either act).

    starduster likes this.
  19. lv70smusic

    lv70smusic Senior Member

    San Francisco, CA
    Maybe that's why Sheeran is so popular -- lack of edge can result in mainstream appeal just like having a certain character might appeal to other people.
    CaptainFeedback1 likes this.
  20. Saturns Pattern

    Saturns Pattern Forum Resident

    I've actually thought about that but I'm still not convinced Sheeran's "lack of edge" is really a major factor in his popularity. I mean, Madonna had edge as personality and wasn't shy about trying to stir up controversy and it was hardly a barrier to her success, but the "edge factor" doesn't really need to be at that level. Look at Adele as a recent example, I can't say that I enjoy her music at all, but as a personality she's very straight-talking - she's not too bothered about upsetting people and she's still hugely successful. Sheeran's wisp of a personality is so barely there that you have to squint to see it.
    starduster likes this.
  21. Oatsdad

    Oatsdad Oat, Biscuits, Abbie & Mitzi: Best Dogs Ever

    Alexandria VA
    Frivolous suit - judge decided correctly.

    The success of the "Blurred Lines" lawsuit opened the door to more of these "hey, there are vague similarities between these songs" court cases.

    I'm guessing 99% of them are crap and they just exist because the plaintiff hopes for an easy payday.
  22. carrolls

    carrolls Forum Resident

    Every time we listen to a new Sheeran song (too frequently IMO, can't help it when my friends have the radio on) , somebody always says "Where did I hear tune before?"
    Then somebody calls up an obscure YouTube artist who is probably barely making enough to eat from his streaming. "Doesn't that bit sound like this bit in this song?"
    I first noticed this phenomenon with Sheeran's "Thinking Out Loud". It has an ominously similar chorus to Crazy Love by Van Morrison.
    Bottom line is if Sheeran was playing in my back garden I would go into town to avoid it. Too whiney for my tastes.
  23. BeatleJWOL

    BeatleJWOL Senior Member

    I think this was the first of several Adam Neely videos all about these ridiculous lawsuits.
  24. Saturns Pattern

    Saturns Pattern Forum Resident

    That's interesting, given that you've clicked on a thread about Ed Sheeran being involved in a copyright infringement case and posted in it several times to offer absolutely no valuable content at all.
  25. Orthogonian Blues

    Orthogonian Blues Forum Resident

    London, UK
    Where there's a hit, there's a writ.

    Would the plaintiffs have gone to the trouble of suing a much less popular artist?

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