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Ed Sheeran says he now regrets settling £14m ‘Photograph’ lawsuit in wake of ‘Shape of You’ trial win

‘I didn’t play Photograph for ages after that. I just stopped playing it,’ Sheeran said

Tom Murray
Friday 08 April 2022 14:45 BST
Ed Sheeran says he regrets settling £14m ‘Photograph’ lawsuit

Ed Sheeran has admitted he regrets settling a $20m (£13.8m) copyright infringement case for his song “Photograph” in 2017.

Sheeran was being interviewed off the back of his copyright trial win on Wednesday (6 April) over one of his other hit singles, “Shape of You”. The singer had been accused of copying parts of the song from Sami Chokri’s 2015 track “Oh Why”.

Sheeran told BBC Two’s Newsnight that he had been advised to settle the “Photograph” case because he was on tour at the time and there was “a culture” around copyright claims that meant he “probably would lose”.

However, he said that settling the case led to “the floodgates” being opened, which, in turn, he said, “added into” the “Shape of You” lawsuit.

The singer said that his regret over settling the “Photograph” case was not financial but due to the fact it changed his relationship with the song. “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,” Sheeran said.

He told Newsnight that he had no choice but to fight the “Shape of You” case: “Win or lose, we had to go to court... We had to stand up for what we thought was right.”

On Wednesday (6 April) morning, Mr Justice Zacaroli cleared the singer and his co-writers, Snow Patrol’s Johnny McDaid and producer Steven McCutcheon of plagiarism after an 11-day trial at the High Court.

Mr Justice Zacaroli decided that Sheeran, McDaid and McCutcheon had not copied the song, saying that there was “insufficient” evidence of “deliberate” copying.

Follow live updates and reaction to the verdict here.

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