A judge in the U.S. has given Ed Sheeran his second copyright trial victory, awarding him with more than $1.1 million in costs. This amount covers 90 percent of his copyright lawsuit legal bill.
Judge Antony Zacaroli explained in his judgment that it was his task to determine the winners and losers in the case. He went on to say that Sheeran won on every significant point and that the rule is for the unsuccessful party in the case to be liable for the successful party’s costs.
Judge Zacaroli ruled in April that Sheeran did not plagiarize Sami Chokri’s 2015 song, “Oh Why, when writing his hit track, “Shape of You.” Sheeran co-wrote the song with Johnny McDaid of Snow Patrol and producer Steve Mac, whose legal name is Steven McCutcheon.
Chokri’s legal counsel argued that Sheeran had the opportunity to listen to his client’s song thanks to a publicity campaign and SBTV founder Jamal Edwards, who was a mutual friend of Chokri and Sheeran. Edwards died prior to the trial. Shokri’s legal team maintained that Sheeran had ample opportunity to plagiarize the song. However, the judge rejected this claim. He believed that while Chokri’s management had promoted the artist’s Solace EP, its success was limited, and the idea that Sheeran learned about the song and listened to it was merely speculative.
Sheeran is currently engaged in another lawsuit claiming copyright infringement, for his 2014 song, “Thinking Out Loud.” In 2016, he was sued by the writers who penned Matt Cardle’s single, “Amazing,” who claimed that he copied the song for his track, “Photograph.” The parties reached an agreement in that case, and it was settled out of court.
Variety – June 22, 2022 – K.J. Yossman
See the previous story, “Ed Sheeran Victorious in ‘Shape of You’ Copyright Case.”