Is it possible for any artist to stay out of court these days?
Ed Sheeran is reportedly suing unknown musician Sam Chokri after the Performing Rights Society suspended his earnings for the hit song “Shape Of You.”
The Performing Rights Society (PRS) is an organization based in the U.K. that decides royalty payouts for artists. PRS suspended all earnings from broadcasts and performances of “Shape Of You” in May after receiving an expert report from Sam Chokri who claims the hit steals from his 2015 track “Oh Why.”
“Shape of You,” which was originally written for Little Mix but released by Sheeran in January 2017, has earned at least £20 million according to The Sun. It’s unclear what percentage of that £20 million was earned since Ed’s revenue was cut off on May 10th.
Editor’s note: We contacted PRS to clarify that the lawsuit is against Chokri and not their organization but have not heard back.
Sam Chokri first set out to sue Sheeran for “Shape Of You” last September when his lawyers wrote to Sony Music about the perceived case of plagiarism. PRS did not cut revenue from the track until Chokri’s legal team presented expert evidence from a musicologist that “Shape of You” and “Oh Why” are undeniably similar.
Sheeran’s lawyers say Chokri is damaging the star’s reputation and impacting his revenue streams. Furthermore, neither Ed Sheeran nor his co-writers have any “recollection of ever having heard of the first or second defendants or of Sami Swich, or Oh Why.”
A source told The Sun: “This is outrageous. Ed’s always been very up front and honest about his writing. This seems little more than a ridiculous claim against him.”
Populove was unable to find any online video or audio sample of “Oh Why” by Sam Chokri for comparison.
In addition to the “Shape Of You” controversy, Ed Sheeran is also being sued for $100 million over claims his hit “Thinking Out Loud” rips off Marvin Gaye’s “Let’s Get It On.”Note: Populove is currently undergoing site maintenance following a hiatus. Some post images and comments from previous months may not appear as we work on the issue.