Ed Sheeran and his co-songwriters have been awarded over £900,000 in legal costs following the copyright infringement case he won in April.
Sheeran and ‘Shape of You’ co-writers – Snow Patrol’s John McDaid and Steven McCutcheon, known as Steve Mac – had been accused of copying the track ‘Oh Why’ by grime artist Sami Chokri, who goes by the name of Sami Switch.
But after the judge at the High Court ruled some three months ago that neither Sheeran or his team “deliberately nor subconsciously” copied anything from Chokri’s track, it’s now been decided that Chokri should also pay the legal costs for the case. That comes in to the tune of of £916,200 for the lesser-known artist.
When delivering the order for costs on Tuesday, Mr Justice Zacaroli said: “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.”
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Shape Of You, from the album Divide, is Sheeran’s biggest hit – which is saying something considering he was the UK’s most-played artist again last year, for the fourth time in five years.
The track has some 5.26 million chart sales (sales and streams combined) as of November 2021, according to Official Charts and spent 13 consecutive weeks at number one in 2017. It’s the UK’s most-streamed song of all time.
During the dispute, which originally began in 2018, some £2.2m in royalties were frozen during the dispute, which ended after the 11-day trial. The sum he and his co-writers will now receive will also further rise by the payment of more than £900,000 in legal costs.
A further hearing is expected to assess and finalise the sums.