Ed Sheeran now regrets settling a copyright infringement claim over his song Photograph in 2017 as it opened the floodgates for him to be hit with more lawsuits.
The Bad Habits singer won a copyright infringement case in London’s High Court this week, with the judge ruling that he did not plagiarise Sami Chokri’s Oh Why with his 2017 smash hit Shape of You.
Appearing on BBC’s Newsnight on Thursday with his frequent co-writer Johnny McDaid, Sheeran said he regretted settling his previous copyright case for $20 million (£15 million) in 2017 instead of taking it to trial.
“I think from there… the floodgates opened and they go, ‘Well if you did that then….’ I think that has added into this basically,” he said, explaining he was advised to settle as he didn’t have the time to defend the case. “Personally, yes, but not from a financial point of view… like I didn’t play Photograph for ages after that. I just stopped playing it. I felt weird about it, it kind of made me feel dirty.”
He revealed that ever since the Photograph case, he films all of his solo songwriting sessions to protect himself against claims.
“Now I just film everything, everything is on film. We’ve had claims coming through on the songs and we go, well here’s the footage and you watch. You’ll see there’s nothing there,” he shared.
With the Shape of You lawsuit, Sheeran and McDaid, as well as their co-writer Steve Mac, decided they couldn’t settle it as a matter of principle.
“The conversation around this is always about money, it’s not about money. This is about honesty. Win or lose, we had to go to court. We had to stand up for what we thought was right,” the 31-year-old stated.