Ed Sheeran and his co-writers have been awarded more than $1 million in legal costs following their victory in their “Shape of You” copyright case.
The singer and his co-writers Steven McCutcheon and Johnny McDaid were accused of copying the 2015 song “Oh Why” by grime artist Sami Chokri, also known as Sami Switch, with the “Oh I” phrase in their 2017 chart-topping single.
Following an 11-day trial in March, Judge Antony Zacaroli from London’s High Court ruled that Sheeran had “neither deliberately nor subconsciously copied” Sami Switch’s song, written by Sami Switch and Ross O’Donoghue.
After the verdict, the lawyers for Sami Switch and O’Donoghue argued that Sheeran and his co-writers should pay their own legal costs, alleging they had failed to provide documents and demonstrated “awkwardness and opacity.”
However, Judge Zacaroli rejected their argument on Tuesday and ruled that Sami Switch and O’Donoghue should pay the costs. He ordered an interim payment of $1.1 million.
“I consider it is appropriate that the claimants’ success is reflected in an order that their costs are paid by the defendants, without reduction save for that which is made as part of the process of detailed assessment,” Zacaroli said, reports BBC News.
A further hearing is expected to assess and finalize the sums.
Following the verdict in April, Sheeran said in an Instagram video, “I hope with this ruling, it means in the future baseless claims like this can be avoided. This really does have to end… Hopefully, we can all get back to writing songs rather than having to prove that we can write them.”