Biography Line

Biography, Age, Net Worth, Salary, Height, Weight, Gossips


Sami Switch claimed that Ed Sheeran’s Shape Of You was plagiarized, but the star won the court.

Sami Switch claimed that Ed Sheeran’s Shape Of You was plagiarized, but the star won the court.

The song Shape Of You and its “Oh I” hook were at the center of a legal battle between Ed Sheeran and Sami Chokri, aka Sami Switch – but a judge has now determined that any similarities to the 2015 song Oh Why aren’t enough to be considered plagiarism.

Ed Sheeran has won his copyright case in the High Court against two songwriters who claimed he plagiarized a section of one of their songs for his massive 2017 single Shape Of You.

Sheeran and two of his co-writers – Snow Patrol’s Johnny McDaid and producer Steve McCutcheon, aka Steve Mac – were accused of plagiarizing a section of a song called Oh Why by Sami Chokri, a grime singer who goes by the moniker Sami Switch.

Mr Justice Zacaroli, who handed down his decision on Wednesday after a March trial, found Sheeran “neither purposefully nor unconsciously” lifted a hook from the song while penning the “Oh I” lyric for Shape Of You.

Sheeran informed followers in a video statement issued following the ruling that “baseless” copyright lawsuits were “damaging” to the creative business.

“I’m not a business.” He stated, “I am a human being.” “I’m a father, a spouse, and a son,” he says. Lawsuits aren’t fun, and I’m hoping that with this decision, false accusations like this will be prevented in the future.”

‘I am not a corporation,’ Ed Sheeran said after his victory in court.

According to Official Charts, Sheeran’s biggest success, Shape Of You, off his Divide album, has 5.26 million chart sales (sales and streams combined) as of November 2021. With 496 million listens, it is the UK’s most-streamed song of all time. It spent 13 weeks at number one in 2017 – the best-selling song of the year – and is the UK’s most-streamed song of all time.

During the trial, the High Court heard that £2.2 million in royalties had been frozen due to the dispute. Following the verdict, PRS For Music is awaiting legal advice on when payments can be distributed.

In a Twitter video, Ed Sheern reacts to his copyright win.

Following a judge’s ruling that he did not rip off Shape Of You, Ed Sheeran issued a statement. Chokri, Sami

In this still picture taken from a social media video released March 23, 2022, Ukrainian band Antytila contacts Ed Sheeran and offers to join his concert for Ukraine in Kyiv, Ukraine. REUTERS/antytila official via Instagram THE IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. CREDIT IS REQUIRED. RESALE IS NOT PERMITTED. THERE ARE NO ARCHIVES.

Ed Sheeran expresses his support for a Ukrainian band that has requested to perform at a Birmingham charity performance from Kyiv.

While the OW (Oh Why) hook and the OI (Oh I) phrase have “parallels,” the judge determined that they also had “substantial variances,” and that “such similarities are, nevertheless, just a starting point for a possible infringement action.”

He also said that “compelling evidence” had been presented to prove that Shape Of You “originated from sources other than ‘Oh Why,’ and that assertions that Sheeran heard the song before creating his own were “no more” than “speculative.”

The claims leveled against Sheeran and his co-writers

Chokri and his co-writer Ross O’Donoghue claimed in court that the fundamental “Oh I” hook in Shape Of You is “strikingly similar” to the “Oh Why” refrain in their own song, and Chokri said he felt “robbed” after hearing it. Sheeran, McDaid, and McCutcheon, on the other hand, all denied knowing about Oh Why before penning Shape Of You.

Sheeran and his co-authors initiated legal action in May 2018, requesting the High Court to rule that they had not infringed on any copyright. Chokri and O’Donoghue filed their own lawsuit two months later, alleging “copyright infringement, damages, and an account of earnings in relation to the alleged violation.”

Sheeran, pictured during the trial, says 'baseless' copyright claims 'have to end'
Sheeran, pictured during the trial, says ‘baseless’ copyright claims ‘have to end’

During the trial, musicology experts expressed opposing viewpoints, with one telling the court that any similarities between the tracks were “objectively unlikely” to be the result of “copying,” while another said they were “so numerous and striking that the possibility of independent creation is… highly improbable.”

Sheeran told the court during his two days in the witness box that he is not an artist who “alters” lyrics and music belonging to others in order to “pass as original,” and he denied claims that he “borrows” ideas from unknown songwriters without acknowledgment.

He said in court that he “always attempted to be fully fair” when acknowledging people who help him make songs. The musician further denied utilizing the legal system to “intimidate” lesser-known songwriters, claiming that he was only in court to “clear my name.”

The written decision of the judge

The judge has now ruled in Sheeran’s favor after reviewing all of the evidence.

“While the OW Hook and the OI Phrase have some parallels, there are also substantial differences,” he wrote in his written conclusion. “In terms of the aspects that are comparable, my research of the musical elements of Shape in general, as well as the composition process and the growth of the OI Phrase, shows that these provide persuasive evidence that the OI Phrase originated from sources other than Oh Why.”

Ed Sheeran is depicted in court as he gives testimony before the High Court. Photo credit: PA/Elizabeth Cook

Sheeran gave evidence for two days at the High Court. Pic: Elizabeth Cook/PA
Sheeran gave evidence for two days at the High Court. Pic: Elizabeth Cook/PA

“The entirety of the evidence relating to Mr Sheeran’s access to Oh Why (whether through others sharing it with him or his discovering it himself) affords no more than a speculative foundation for Mr Sheeran hearing Oh Why.

“Given the foregoing, I infer that Mr Sheeran did not hear Oh Why and, in any case, did not intentionally replicate the OI Phrase from the OW Hook.”

Sheeran, McCutcheon, and McDaid were apparently “unaware” that the disagreement had frozen £2.2 million in royalties from the song, according to the judge, and had stated that they were simply in court to “clean their names.”

‘An unequivocal affirmation of creative genius’

Sheeran’s lawyers, Simon Goodbody and Andrew Forbes of Bray and Krais, said in a statement following the ruling, “The judgment is an emphatic vindication of Ed, Johnny, and Steve’s creative genius – as they have always maintained, they created Shape Of You together, without copying from anyone else.”

Following the judgment, Chokri seemed to share a video recorded by the sea on an unverified Instagram account. “Through despair I found an instant route to appreciation,” he captioned the video, without directly addressing the judgment. I am fortunate to have a lot of love, friends, and family. “This is just the start, not the end.”

What do the experts have to say about it?

Copyright claims are uncommon in court, and composers who claim their copyright has been infringed face “notoriously stiff” odds.

“A claimant must prove, with concrete proof, that the defendant had access to the song in order to reproduce it,” said Gill Dennis, a copyright and brand protection expert at Pinsent Masons. Even with this evidence and where there is consistency, it is not always enough to show copying, especially when a defendant can raise doubt by demonstrating that their work came from other places.”

In London, Britain, on March 9, 2022, singer and songwriter Johnny McDaid arrives at the Rolls Building for a copyright trial over the song Shape Of You. Toby Melville/Reuters

Snow Patrol star and Shape Of You co-writer Johnny McDaid pictured outside court during the trial
Snow Patrol star and Shape Of You co-writer Johnny McDaid pictured outside court during the trial

The verdict indicates “that the UK intellectual property courts aren’t likely to embrace American-style speculative litigation,” according to Isaac Murdy, an intellectual property specialist at legal firm Shakespeare Martineau.

“It will need more than a small segment of ‘basic minor pentatonic pattern’ that is ‘absolutely commonplace’ to establish a valid copyright infringement claim,” he continued. To some extent, every music is derivative, and as Elvis Costello put it, “It’s how rock & roll works.” This decision demonstrates that “clear similarities between two songs are required to establish a strong case.”

The judge’s decision did not surprise Mike Gilbert, a partner at Marks & Clerk, a renowned worldwide intellectual property firm, who said it “draws a clear line in the sand” for minor artists considering bringing similar claims to court.

“The truth is, large musicians are well aware of their responsibility to give credit where credit is due, and, in the case of Ed Sheeran, are more than prepared to acknowledge assistance when appropriate.”