After Winning Copyright Lawsuit over “Shape of you,” Ed Sheeran has Decided to Film his Writing Sessions

Ed Sheeran recently won a copyright case at the High Court over allegations that he plagiarized the 2017 hit song “Shape of You.” This is not the first time the pop star has suffered plagiarism accusations, as back in 2017, he settled a $20million copyright case over his single “Photograph.”

However, this time he has decided to take measures to prevent this from happening again. Following this last 11-day trial, Sheeran has decided to film “every single writing session.” The musician believes there is a culture of baseless lawsuits intended to squeeze money out of artists who want to avoid the expense of a trial.

The British pop star and co-writers, John McDaid (Snow Patrol) and Steven McCutcheon, had firmly denied the claims that the song copied part of “Oh Why” by Sami Switch. And this time, Sheeran did not wish to settle. And so, after hearing the verdict, the musician admitted having mixed feelings: 

“Whilst 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 is no basis for the claim,” the musician said in a video on Twitter. “It’s really damaging to the songwriting industry.”

Now, Sheeran has said that since the “Photograph” settlement, he now records all songwriting sessions. He told BBC Newsnight that he just films everything, to prevent ever having to go through that again. He explained that they have had claims come through on other songs, and so now they can say: “Well, here’s the footage, and you watch, and you’ll see that there’s nothing there.”

 Sheeran also told Newsnight that he regrets settling the $20million copyright case over “Photograph” in 2017 because he feels it resulted in doors being opened for similar claims. Sheeran recalled that he did not play “Photograph” for ages after the lawsuit. “I just stopped playing it. I felt weird about it, it kind of made me feel dirty. And we’ve now got to a point where we actually own all of the song again,” he said. 

When asked about his most recent lawsuit, he shared: “I’m happy it’s over. I’m happy we can move on and get back to writing songs. Lawsuits are not fun for anyone involved. And yeah, I think across all sides, it was not a nice experience.”

He went on to explain how he felt whenever he had to face a copyright claim: 

“There is a cost on our mental health. The stress this causes on all sides is immense. It affects so many aspects of our everyday lives and the lives of our families and friends. We are not corporations. We are not entities. We are human beings. We are songwriters. We do not want to diminish the hurt and pain anyone has suffered through this, and at the same time, we feel it is important to acknowledge that we too have had our own hurts and life struggles throughout the course of this process.

“There is an impact on both us and the wider circle of songwriters everywhere. Our hope in having gone through all of this, is that it shows that there is a need for a safe space for all songwriters to be creative, and free to express their hearts. That is why we all got into this in the first place. Everyone should be able to freely express themselves in music, in art, and do so fearlessly.”

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