‘I’m not a corporation, I’m a human being’: Ed Sheeran describes ‘immense stress’ of Shape of You copyright trial

Ed Sheeran has described the negative impact that the “Shape of You” lawsuit has taken on his mental health.

The singer, along with Snow Patrol’s Johnny McDaid and producer Steven “Mac” McCutcheon, had been accused of copying parts of his 2017 smash hit single from Sami Chokri’s 2015 track “Oh Why”.

On Wednesday (6 April) morning, Sheeran was cleared of plagiarism by Mr Justice Zacaroli, who ruled that there was “insufficient” evidence of “deliberate” copying.

Following the judge’s verdict, Sheeran released a video on social media talking about the case.

“Whilst we’re obviously happy with the result, I feel like claims like this are way too common now and have become a culture where a claim is made with the idea that a settlement will be cheaper than taking it to court,” he said.

“There’s only so many notes and very few chords used in pop music. Coincidence is bound to happen if 60,000 songs are being released every day on Spotify. That’s 22 million songs a year and there’s only 12 notes that are available.”

Adding that he didn’t want to diminish “the pain and hurt suffered from both sides of this case”, Sheeran continued: “I just want to say I’m not an entity. I’m not a corporation, I’m a human being, I’m a father, I’m a husband, I’m a son. Lawsuits, they’re not a pleasant experience.”

A joint statement was also released from Sheeran, McDaid and McCutcheon, in which they discussed the non-financial costs of the case.

“There is a cost on creativity,” they wrote. “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.”

The trio said that it had been painful to “hear someone publicly, and aggressively, challenge your integrity” and have to defend themselves against accusations regarding “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 that we can continue to make music, always,” they wrote.

Sheeran’s lawyers Simon Goodbody and Andrew Forbes said in a statement: “The judgment is an emphatic vindication of the creative genius of Ed, Johnny and Steve – as they have always maintained, they created ‘Shape Of You’ together, without copying from anyone else.”