After a high-profile trial in England, Ed Sheeran has won the copyright battle over his hit song "Shape of You."
On Wednesday (April 6), a High Court judge ruled in favor of Sheeran and the co-writers of the 2017 hit, Snow Patrol's Johnny McDaid and producer Steve Mac, saying they didn't plagiarize the song "Oh Why," released by Sami Chokri in 2015, per Rolling Stone.
Chokri and his co-writer Ross O'Donoghue sued the "Shape of You" writers over alleged similarities between the song and their own track. In response, Sheeran and company asked the High Court to intervene in 2018 and declare there was no copyright infringement and clear their names. The "Oh Why" writers issued a counterclaim two months later, leading to the trial in March 2022, the outlet reports.
In Wednesday's ruling, the judge determined that Sheeran "neither deliberately nor subconsciously" copied a phrase from Chokri's song. During the trial, Sheeran, McDaid and Mac all claimed they were unaware of the other artist's song prior to penning their smash hit, with the "Bad Habits" singer telling the court he "always tried to be completely fair" when crediting his contributors.
Following the ruling, Sheeran took to Instagram on Wednesday to share some of his thoughts.
"While we're obviously happy with the result, I feel like claims like this are way too common now and have become a culture where a claim is made with the idea that a settlement will be cheaper than taking it to court. Even if there's no base for the claim. It's really damaging to the songwriting industry," he said, adding that "coincidence is bound to happen." "There's only so many notes and very few chords used in pop music."
He continued, "I don't want to take anything away from the pain and hurt suffered by both sides of this case, but I just want to say that I'm not an entity. I'm not a corporation. I'm a human being. I'm a father. I'm a husband. I'm a son. Lawsuits are not a pleasant experience and I hope with this ruling it means in the future baseless claims like this can be avoided."
Check out his full statement below.