Ed Sheeran is involved in yet another court battle after having been accused of stealing other peoples’ songs.
New documents lodged at the High Court claim the singer is ‘consciously or subconsciously in the habit of appropriating the compositional skill and labour of other songwriters’.
The accusation was made by musician Sam Chokri, 26 – aka Sami Swich – who has taken Sheeran, 28, to court over the origin of Shape of You, the biggest-selling UK single of 2017.
Chokri alleges that, while Shape of You was a number one hit in 34 countries around the world, Sheeran stole its chorus from his 2015 song Oh Why. The artist also alleges that Sheeran’s other work includes ‘stolen’ material from musicians such as TLC, Shaggy, and country singer Jasmine Rae, MailOnline reports.
As a result of these allegations, royalties from the song have been suspended pending a court decision, with Sheeran hitting back by launching a counter suit to reclaim his profit, claiming Chokri has blocked his revenue stream.
This comes more than one year after it was revealed the Castle on the Hill singer was being sued for $100 million by the estate and heirs of the late producer Ed Townsend – who co-wrote Marvin Gaye’s Let’s Get It On – for ‘lifting major harmonic progressions and rhythmic elements’ and using them in Thinking Out Loud.
That case was expected to be resolved by a jury next month, but has since been postponed – potentially until next year – after the judge told all parties involved to ‘take the summer off’ at a hearing last month.
Sheeran previously called for the case against him to be dropped, but US District Judge Louis Stanton rejected his request on January 3 and instead said a jury should be responsible for deciding whether the song had been plagiarised.
This is reportedly because of another ongoing case in which Led Zeppelin has been sued for using a song called Taurus by Spirit in their 1971 song Stairway to Heaven. Judge Stanton wanted to wait for the outcome of this case, which is set for a September trial, due to the similarities of the two.
It’s not the first time Sheeran has found himself in such situations, the artist was sued in 2017 by Martin Harrington and Thomas Leonard – the songwriters of a track called Amazing which had been penned for X Factor winner Matt Cardle.
Harrington and Leonard alleged Sheeran had copied the song ‘note for note‘ for his 2014 hit Photograph; the $20 million lawsuit was dismissed after the two parties made a settlement out of court for an undisclosed sum.
That same year, people noted the singer’s Shape of You sounded eerily similar to TLC’s 1999 hit No Scrubs, after which songwriting credits were given to Kandi Burruss and Tameka Dianne ‘Tiny’ Harris.
Ed is yet to respond publicly to Chokri’s claims.
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A Broadcast Journalism Masters graduate who went on to achieve an NCTJ level 3 Diploma in Journalism, Lucy has done stints at ITV, BBC Inside Out and Key 103. While working as a journalist for UNILAD, Lucy has reported on breaking news stories while also writing features about mental health, cervical screening awareness, and Little Mix (who she is unapologetically obsessed with).