Tragic music mogul Jamal Edwards did not remember thinking there was a similarity between Ed Sheeran’s song Shape of You and Sami Chokri and Ross O’Donoghue’s tune Oh Why, court documents show
- Jamal Edwards ‘did not see similarity between Sheeran song and another track’
- Ed Sheeran is in court facing a copyright dispute over his song the Shape of You
- Sami Chokri and Ross O’Donoghue claim it rips off parts of their track Oh Why
Jamal Edwards did not remember thinking there was a similarity between an Ed Sheeran song at the heart of a High Court copyright claim, court documents have revealed.
Mr Sheeran is involved in a legal row with two songwriters, Sami Chokri and Ross O’Donoghue, who claim his 2017 hit Shape Of You rips off parts of their 2015 track Oh Why – something he and his two co-writers deny.
Late music entrepreneur Mr Edwards wrote and signed a witness statement on September 27 last year in support of his ‘very good friend’ Mr Sheeran ahead of of the trial which began last week.
In the statement, Mr Edwards said he knew both Mr Sheeran and Mr Chokri but did not know about the court case or that he was mentioned in it until shortly before giving his witness statement.
According to Mr Chokri and Mr O’Donoghue, Mr Edwards commented a ‘shifty eyes’ emoji on one of Mr Chokri’s Facebook posts shortly after the release of Shape Of You.
However, in his written evidence, Mr Edwards disputed this. He said: ‘I have no recollection of posting, or deleting, a “shifty eyes” emoji on Sami’s Facebook page, as he says I did.’
Mr Edwards continued: ‘This, ie that there was a similarity between the “Oh Why/Oh I chorus”, is not a view that I recall having, indeed I do not recall ever having heard ‘Oh Why’, and therefore do not believe that this is a view I had.’
Jamal Edwards did not remember thinking there was a similarity between an Ed Sheeran song at the heart of a High Court copyright claim, court documents have revealed
Ed Sheeran (pictured outside the Hugh Court on Friday, March 11) is involved in a legal row with two songwriters, Sami Chokri and Ross O’Donoghue, who claim his 2017 hit Shape Of You rips off parts of their 2015 track Oh Why – something he and his two co-writers deny
Sam Chokri and his singing partner Ross O’Donoghue (right, also seen arriving at the High Court on Friday) claim Sheeran copied aspects of their work
Mr Chokri and Mr O’Donoghue’s lawyers argued in written submissions that it is ‘highly likely’ Mr Edwards had listened to Oh Why.
They have also argued that it is ‘unequivocal’ that Mr Edwards posted the ‘shifty eyes’ emoji as Mr Chokri claimed, arguing that ‘limited weight’ should be given to the entrepreneur’s evidence.
In court on Monday, Mr Sheeran said that Mr Edwards, who he described as his ‘best friend’, did not share music with him in 2015 and 2016, explaining that he had only recently done so.
Andrew Sutcliffe QC, for Mr Chokri and Mr O’Donoghue, previously said this argument was ‘not credible’.
In his statement, Mr Edwards said that it was only ‘in the last couple of years’ that he had shared any music with Mr Sheeran. Mr Edwards later said it was ‘very strange’ that he was not told about the High Court claim.
He said: ‘Neither Sami nor anyone else on his behalf has ever spoken to me about the claim, including before using my name to suggest that I thought Ed had done something ‘doubtful or nefarious’.
‘I think Sami has not called me about this because he knows it is ridiculous. Either way, I am very surprised by the whole situation.’
In the statement, Mr Edwards said he knew both Mr Sheeran (pictured arriving at court on Friday) and Mr Chokri but did not know about the court case or that he was mentioned in it until shortly before giving his witness statement
Mr Edwards gained fame from setting up new music platform SB.TV – helping to launch a string of UK music careers including Ed Sheeran
SBTV founder Mr Edwards gained fame after setting up the music platform in 2006 and was credited with helping to launch a string of UK music acts to stardom, including Dave, Jessie J and Mr Sheeran.
Mr Edwards died last month after a sudden illness, leading to an outpouring of tributes from the British music industry and beyond – including from the Prince of Wales, Sir Richard Branson and former prime minister David Cameron.
Mr Sheeran and his co-authors launched legal proceedings in May 2018, asking the High Court to declare they had not infringed Mr Chokri and Mr O’Donoghue’s copyright.
In July 2018, Mr Chokri and Mr O’Donoghue issued their own claim for ‘copyright infringement, damages and an account of profits in relation to the alleged infringement’.
The trial before Mr Justice Zacaroli continues, with judgment expected to be reserved until a later date.
Jamal Edwards wished his friend Ed Sheeran a happy birthday from Marbella, Spain, three days ago. His death aged 31 has been put down to a sudden illness
A young Ed Sheeran appears on SBTV in 2010 in a clip that now has 11m views on YouTube alone
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