Ed Sheeran Was Targeted in ‘Concerted Plan’ to Promote Chokri, Artist Accusing Him in Copyright Case

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Ed Sheeran and Sami Chokri, who performs under the name Sami Switch, have been facing off in the High Court in London over a copyright claim. Chokri and musician Ross O'Donoghue have alleged that Sheeran's 2016 hit Shape Of You is "strikingly similar" to parts of their 2015 track, Oh Why.
Pop star Ed Sheeran was deliberately targeted with a “concerted plan” to engage his interest in songwriter Sami Chokri, who later accused him of ripping off one of his songs in the 2017 hit Shape of You, according to written evidence for the London High Court, cited by UK media outlets.
"We felt that, if Ed Sheeran could see Sami's work, he would recognise his talent. We saw this as a real possibility because of the connections that we had, and Sami had, to his circle… We knew Ed Sheeran helped people with this and that he liked to collaborate with artists like Sami," David May, one of the directors for Artists and Company (A&C), the firm that used to manage grime artist Chokri, is cited as saying in written evidence.
May added that no other artist had been targeted in the same way, and the company "began to press harder” to bring Chokri’s 2015 song Oh Why to the star’s notice, as they thought they had “a strong song and a body of work close to completion in the form of the EP Solace".
Another former director at A&C, David Gibbs, said he was the "main person" in charge of making "as much noise as possible" about the track by Chokri, who performs under the name Sami Switch.
"We wanted to bombard as many people as possible to promote the song. It was a quality and quantity of people approach. It was a focus on raising awareness," he said.
To promote the track, Gibbs claimed that “thirty or more" meetings were held with record labels and publishers, besides resorting to social media and emails to online blogs.
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Ed Sheeran previously insisted he does not remember meeting Sami Chokri or ever hearing Oh Why before the court proceedings.

Copyright Trial

British grime artist from Caversham Sami Chokri and his co-writer, Ross O’Donoghue, claim Ed Sheeran’s Shape Of You hit infringes “particular lines and phrases” of their 2015 track, Oh Why. They argue that a central “Oh I” hook in the song is “strikingly similar” to an “Oh Why” refrain.
In July 2018, Chokri and O'Donoghue issued their claim for "copyright infringement, damages and an account of profits in relation to the alleged infringement".
English singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran and his co-writers launched legal proceedings in May 2018, asking the High Court to declare they had not infringed copyright.
According to written evidence for the court, Chokri was “shocked” when he first heard Shape of You on the radio. He claimed that feeling “inspired” by Sheeran’s “success and stardom,” he had previously tried to get the artist to listen to his music.
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When cross-examined on Monday by lawyers representing the Shape of You co-writers, Chokri insisted Ed Sheeran had heard Oh Why “through the many points of access that me and my team have shared”. When asked if there had been any targeting to get the song to Ed Sheeran, Chokri replied, “It was my management.” He also revealed that he felt “robbed by someone I respect”.
The copyright trial currently continues.
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