The verdict is in: Ed Sheeran has won his music plagiarism case against Sami Switch over his hit song Shape of You.“There’s only so many notes,” Ed Sheeran remarked yesterday in a video posted to social media as he was cleared over the copyright claim that threatened his reputation. In the video, Sheeran strongly criticised what he claimed was a “culture” of making “baseless claims” of plagiarism against songwriters that are “damaging” the industry. High Court judge Antony Zacaroli ruled that Sheeran and his co-writers had not copied from Sami Switch, who accused the team of ripping off his 2015 song Oh Why when writing Shape of You.
In his judgement, Zacaroli said Sheeran had "neither deliberately nor subconsciously copied" Switch's song and that the songwriter had provided “compelling evidence” to demonstrate the song had not originated with Switch’s track. Sami Switch did not immediately provide a statement aside from a fairly cryptic Instagram story. Despite Sheeran's victory, it's worth noting that it was he and his co-writers that initiated the original suit way back in 2018, so some of his battle-cry video statement does ring a little hollow. No doubt however that this case will go down as a case study in music education for some time – it wasn't exactly small time, with PRS withholding over £20 million in royalties until the suit was settled. Legal fees for both sides were rumoured at least in the hundreds of thousands. Via Ed Sheeran/multiple outlets