UEA law expert says Ed Sheeran court case is good news for creators

Published by  News archive

On 6th Apr 2022

A crowd at a music concert.
Getty images

As Ed Sheeran wins his High Court copyright case over his 2017 hit Shape of You, associate professor in IP/IT/Media Law Dr Sabine Jacques says the decision “should bring some comfort to creators”. 


“With a finite number of notes and the global dissemination of works, the rise of such cases is not surprising,” said Dr Jacques. “Establishing an infringement of copyright requires several things: the copying of original parts and establishing a causal connection between the earlier work and the alleged infringement are required.

“These elements were not proven here. With this high-profile case, the High Court confirms that it is not because two songs may sound similar that there is a copyright infringement.

“This is decision should bring some comfort to creators, decreasing risk aversion towards any perceived threat of legal actions for infringement and hopefully, foster musical creativity.”

Dr Jacques’ research areas are in intellectual property law (copyright, trade marks, designs and patents) and in the intersection of intellectual property law and other areas of law such as contract law and human rights. Previous work has focused on the music industry. 

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