An interim award of £916,200 has been handed to Ed Sheeran and his co-writers after they won a copyright case over the Number one hit Shape of You.
The singer-songwriter was accused of copying part of a 2015 song called ‘Oh Why’ by Sami Chokri and Ross O’Donoghue.
But the High Court ruled that a phrase from the song was neither deliberately nor subconsciously used.
Mr Justice Zacaroli rejected the defendants’ argument that there should be no order as to costs. Chokri and O’Donoghue claimed they should not pay because the claimants failed to disclose documents about how Shape of You was written.
But Zacaroli said the defendants ‘acted precipitously’ by telling the Performing Rights Society (PRS) that they said they should be credited as songwriters, ‘causing the PRS to suspend all payments to the claimants’ in respect of the public performance or broadcast of the song.
Zacaroli added: “The defendants themselves, who were positively asserting infringement, had given no disclosure at all in support of their assertion (which was a critical element of their claim) that the claimants had had access to Oh Why.’”