ED Sheeran arrived in court today after being accused of ripping off his hit song Shape of You.
Songwriters Sami Chokri and Ross O’Donoghue claim the song infringes parts of one of their songs.
They say the chorus of Sheeran’s tune, which goes “oh I oh I oh I”, was nicked from their chorus “oh why oh why oh why”.
Sheeran was pictured wearing a dark suit and tie as he arrived for the second day of the legal battle at the High Court in London this morning.
The star and his co-authors for the song issued legal proceedings in May 2018, asking the High Court to declare they had not infringed Mr Chokri and Mr O’Donoghue’s copyright.
Two months later, in July 2018, Mr Chokri and Mr O’Donoghue issued their own claim for “copyright infringement, damages and an account of profits in relation to the alleged infringement”.
The battle hit the High Court for its second day today.
On Friday, Andrew Sutcliffe QC, representing Mr Chokri and Mr O’Donoghue, told the court: “Mr Sheeran is undeniably very talented.
“He is a genius.
“But he is also a magpie. He borrows ideas and throws them into songs.
“Sometimes he acknowledges this. And sometimes he doesn’t.”
Mr Sheeran appeared upset at the magpie remark and started quickly writing a note which was passed to his large legal team.
Mr Sutcliffe said the hitmaker had “won many awards” and was very famous.
He added: “They (Mr Chokri and Mr O’Donoghue) are not Shaggy, Coldplay or Rihanna.
“If they were, this would have been treated very differently.”
They are not Shaggy, Coldplay or Rihanna. If they were, this would have been treated very differently.Andrew Sutcliffe QC
The flame-haired superstar, 30, had his royalties frozen for the bestselling single after musician Sami Chokri claimed it ripped off his work.
He has likely missed out on millions since the 2018 ruling by the Performing Rights Society, which decides on royalty payouts.
The hearing will last for three weeks.
Mr Sheeran is set to give evidence on Monday and Tuesday.
It is a case in which the stakes are high.
In a November 2020 ruling, Judge Francesca Kaye said the parties involved “anticipated that they would incur costs in the region of £3million between them on this dispute”.
Mr Sheeran previously settled a copyright infringement claim in 2017 against him in the US, over another of his hit songs called Photograph, the court heard.
Songwriters Thomas Leonard and Martin Harrington sued the singer, claiming his ballad had a similar structure to their song, Amazing.
The case was settled for more than £4 million according to court documents released yesterday.