Watch: Ed Sheeran reacts after High Court win in Shape Of You copyright battle
Ed Sheeran has spoken of the "cost on [his] mental health" caused by having to fight a copyright lawsuit over his number one hit song Shape of You.
The 31-year-old on Wednesday won his court battle over claims he and songwriting partners Johnny McDaid and Steven McCutcheon stole part of their track from Sami Chokri and Ross O’Donoghue’s 2015 song Oh Why.
Chokri and O'Donoghue claimed that the "Oh I" refrain in Shape of You was "strikingly similar" to their song and constituted copyright infringement, while Sheeran strongly denied this.
On Wednesday, Mr Justice Zacaroli stated that Sheeran “neither deliberately nor subconsciously” pilfered a musical phrase from Oh Why.
In a joint statement, Sheeran, McDaid and McCutcheon said: "There was a lot of talk throughout this case about cost. But there is more than just a financial cost.
“There is a cost on creativity. When we are tangled up in lawsuits, we are not making music or playing shows. There is a cost on our mental health. The stress this causes on all sides is immense.
“It affects so many aspects of our everyday lives and the lives of our families and friends. We are not corporations. We are not entities. We are human beings. We are songwriters."
Released in 2017, Shape of You went to number one in 34 different countries and became the first song to crack the milestone of three billion streams on Spotify.
Watch: Ed Sheeran wins Shape of You copyright case
The statement suggested there is "a culture where unwarranted claims are easily brought" and added that "everyone should be able to freely express themselves in music, in art and do so fearlessly".
The trio added: "It is so painful to have to defend yourself against accusations that you have done something that you haven’t done and would never do.
“While this has been one of the most difficult things we have ever been through in our professional lives, we will continue to stand up against baseless claims and protect our rights and the integrity of our musical creativity, so we that can continue to make music, always.
“Our message to songwriters everywhere is: Please support each other. Be kind to one another. Let’s continue to cultivate a spirit of community and creativity.”
Sheeran expanded on these views that copyright claims are "way too common" in a video posted to his millions of followers on social media, marking the end of the lengthy legal battle.
He said: "There are only so many notes and very few chords used in pop music and coincidences are bound to happen if 60,000 songs are being released a day on Spotify. That is 22 million songs a year, and there are only 12 notes that are available.
“Lawsuits are not a pleasant experience and I hope with this ruling it means in the future baseless claims like this can be avoided. This really does have to end.”
Sheeran released his fifth studio album = last year, which soared to the top of the UK Albums Chart and scored two number one singles in Bad Habits and Shivers.