Ed Sheeran has found himself in another court battle in which he is being accused of ‘stealing’ material for his songs.
While his case involving Marvin Gaye rumbles on into 2020, fresh documents lodged at the High Court have claimed he is ‘consciously or subconsciously in the habit of appropriating the compositional skill and labour of other songwriters’.
This more generalised claim – which Sheeran, 28, has denied – seems to cover his songwriting process in general.
Here we go again! Ed Sheeran has found himself in another court battle in which he is being accused of ‘stealing’ material for his songs
The case involves unknown musician Sam Chokri, 26, who has decided to pick at Sheeran’s ‘habit of appropriating’.
In Chokri’s complaint, he cites the 2017 track Shape Of You as an example.
The track was a number one hit in 34 countries across the planet, but Chokri alleges that Sheeran stole the chorus from his 2015 song Oh Why.
Chokri also claims that Sheeran’s work also includes ‘stolen’ material from the likes of TLC, Shaggy and American country singer Jasmine Rae.
Legal dispute: The case involves unknown musician Sam Chokri, 26, who has decided to pick at Sheeran’s ‘habit of appropriating’, and cites the 2017 track Shape Of You as an example
As a result, royalties from the song have been suspended pending a court decision, and Sheeran – who is worth an estimated £160 million – has hit back by claiming that Chokri has blocked his revenue stream.
Claiming that he has also sullied Sheeran’s reputation, the music megastar has now launched a counter-claim lawsuit to reclaim this profit.
The star is also being sued by the estate of the co-writer of Gaye’s 1973 hit Let’s Get It On, Ed Townsend, for ‘lifting major harmonic progressions and rhythmic elements’ and using them in his 2014 Thinking Out Loud.
The judge in the Sheeran/Gaye/Townsend case told all parties involved to ‘take the summer off’ at a hearing last month.
Assets down: Claiming that he has also sullied Sheeran’s reputation, the singer has now launched a counter-claim lawsuit to reclaim this profit
Heard in Manhattan, the case was set to go to a jury trial in September, but has been postponed until, most likely, 2020.
This is because of another similar ongoing case in which Led Zeppelin has been sued for using Californian band Spirit’s 1968 track Taurus in their 1971 song Stairway To Heaven.
The judge – Louis Staton – wants to wait for the outcome of this case, which is set for a September trial, due to the similarities of the two matters.
It was previously quashed by a jury, but revived on appeal after the jury was accused of ‘misunderstanding copyright law’.
‘Carbon copy’: The lawsuit comes after legal documents filed in New York claimed Sheeran’s track Thinking Out Loud had been copied from Marvin Gaye’s Let’s Get It On [pictured in 1980]
Copycat? Chokri also claims that Sheeran’s work also includes ‘stolen’ material from the likes of TLC, Shaggy and American country singer Jasmine Rae
Sheeran was also involved in another lawsuit in 2017, which he ended up settling for $20 million, over his song Photograph.
And to add to the multi-millionaire’s woes, rapper Wiley has accused Sheeran this week of being a ‘culture vulture’.
The 40-year-old MC has labelled Sheeran a clout chaser, saying that he has befriended certain people within the grime scene in order to gain popularity.
Wiley – who is widely known as the Godfather of Grime – initially said: ‘I’m sick of people using Grime to look good for two minutes!’
Handbags at dawn: Stormzy [L] and Wiley [R] have also come to blows over Sheeran recently
But artist Stormzy – who has worked with Sheeran – defended his pal, taking to Twitter to pen: ‘Wiley you know Ed been doing this from early, been a real one from early, can’t question that, you know I love you and respect you brother but nah don’t do that [sic].’
However, Wiley refused to back down from his initial comments, posting a laughing emoji in response and writing: ‘Shall I get my guitar and foot pedal out?’
Wiley worked with Sheeran in 2011 on his No. 5 Collaborations Project record, and added: ‘Anyone who uses us and our sounds are culture vultures… I’m getting my guitar and foot pedal out and I don’t wanna hear nobody moaning about nothing [sic].’