Ed Sheeran now films his songwriting sessions to deter later claims of plagiarism, he reveals

Ed Sheeran revealed he filmed all of his songwriting sessions after winning a bitter High Court dispute over Shape of You.

The Suffolk singer, 31, said he films all of his songwriting sessions to protect himself from future claims of plagiarism.

In a preview of today’s Newsnight interview, Sheeran opened up about a previous claim made in the US about his song Photograph in 2017.

The artist said he “personally” regrets choosing Photograph and said he hasn’t played the song for a long time.

Ed Sheeran said his songwriting changed after his first plagiarism claim in 2015, and he often finds himself “puzzling himself with hindsight.”

“I just stopped playing it,” he said. “I felt weird about it, it kind of made me dirty.”

Sheeran added, “Now I just film everything, everything is on film.

“We had claims on the songs and we go, well, here’s the footage and you watch it. You’ll see there’s nothing.”

He said that songwriting in the studio has changed since the initial plagiarism claim, and he often finds himself “questioning”.

He said: “There is a point by George Harrison where he said he was afraid to touch the piano because he might be touching someone else’s note. You can definitely feel that in the studio.

“Personally, I think the best feeling in the world is the euphoria of the first idea of ​​writing a great song.

The singer-songwriter, who was photographed in London yesterday, is now recording his sessions so the video can be played - should there be a plagiarism claim

The singer-songwriter, who was photographed in London yesterday, is now recording his sessions so the video can be played – should there be a plagiarism claim

“That feeling has now turned into, ‘Oh wait, let’s step back for a moment.’ You are in the moment and questioning yourself.”

In 2018, Sheeran was accused along with Snow Patrol’s John McDaid and producer Steven McCutcheon of stealing Sami Chokri and Ross O’Donoghue’s 2015 track Oh Why.

On Wednesday they won their 11-day battle in the High Court, with the judge concluding that Sheeran “neither intentionally nor unknowingly” copied a phrase from the 2015 song when writing his number one hit.

The song from 2017 is the most streamed track on Spotify with 3,091 million plays.

After his victory, Sheeran told the BBC’s Newsnight that the case was about “honesty” and not about money.

He said he was “happy it’s over, I’m glad we can move on and start writing songs again” but that the episode made him “sad” and changed his perspective on songwriting.

Multi-instrumentalist McDaid, seated next to him, spoke about the toll the case had taken on her mental health.

He said: “The last year has been really tough and it’s been consuming. The cost to our sanity and creativity has been truly tangible.’

Sami Chokri arrives at the Rolls Building in central London, where Ed Sheeran has filed legal action over his 2017 hit Shape of You after he and Ross O'Donoghue claimed the song violated parts of one of their tracks

Ross O'Donoghue (above) and Sami Chokri claimed Shape of You infringes parts of their 2015 track Oh Why

Sami Chokri (left) and Ross O’Donoghue (right) arrive at the Rolls Building in central London, where Ed Sheeran took legal action over his 2017 hit song Shape of You after the duo claimed the song infringed parts one of their tracks

Sheeran and his co-authors originally filed a court case in May 2018, asking the Supreme Court to declare that they did not infringe Chokri and O’Donoghue’s copyright.

Two months later, Chokri — a grime artist who performs under the name Sami Switch — and O’Donoghue introduced their own lawsuit seeking “copyright infringement, damages and profit settlement related to the alleged infringement.”

The pair claimed an “Oh I” hook on Shape Of You was “strikingly similar” to an “Oh why” chorus on their own track.

All three of Shape Of You’s co-writers denied allegations of copying and said they could not recall listening to Oh Why before the lawsuit.

During last month’s trial at the Rolls Building in London, Sheeran denied he “borrows” ideas from unknown songwriters without credit, insisting he’s “always tried to be absolutely fair” when it comes to treating people recognize those who have contributed to his albums.

Chokri told the trial he felt “robbed” by Sheeran and was “shocked” when he first heard Shape Of You on the radio.

Oh Why co-writers’ attorney Andrew Sutcliffe QC claims Sheeran is an artist who “changes” words and music owned by others to “pass as original”.

Ian Mill QC, representing Sheeran, McDaid and McCutcheon, said the allegations against them were “impossible to hold”, with evidence suggesting Shape Of You was an “independent creation”.

Sheeran was present throughout the trial, frequently breaking out in song and humming scales and tunes as he took the witness stand.

His full interview can be seen on BBC Two on Newsnight at 10.30pm tonight.

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