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First off today, Zara Woodcock at Metro reports that a UK High Court has said that the trial over the Ed Sheeran song Shape of You will take place in 2022 and that the two sides would likely incur costs around £3 Million ($3.9 million) in legal costs between them during that time.
The case began when two songwriters, Sami Chokri and Ross O’Donoghue alleged that Sheeran copied parts of their song Oh Why when writing Shape of You. This prompted Sheeran and the other songwriters involved with Shape of You to file a lawsuit seeking a declaratory judgment that their work was non-infringing.
The case was filed in May 2018 and, in August 2019, the court ordered that royalties for the song be suspended. After courts denied initial bids to end the case quickly, the case is now steaming toward the aforementioned 2022 trial date.
Next up today, Adrian Mojica at Fox 17 reports that two of the seven surviving children of country music legend George Jones have filed a lawsuit seeking a full accounting of royalties they claim they are owed over compositions created by Jones.
The two sons, Bryan and Jeffery Jones, are two sons from Jone’s marriage to Shirley Ann Corley. They claim that, when Corley divorced Jones in 1968, she received one-half of the songs written by Jones and published by Broadcast Music International (BMI). Following Corley’s death in 1991, the two sons claim those rights were transferred to them.
The two sons are now seeking both clarification on what copyrights they actually do own and a full accounting of any money that may be owed to them. They claim that there appears to have been some “monkey business” going on with the accounting for the relevant tracks and that some of the publishing companies have been paying out incorrectly.
Finally today, Jem Aswad at Variety reports that former music industry executives have joined forces to create Spoken Giants, a new royalty administration agency that focuses on spoken word artists including comedians, podcasters and lecturers.
Founded by former BMI executive Jim king and former 800 Pound Gorilla Records co-founders Ryan Bitzer and Damion Greiman, the organization already boasts several celebrity members including Lewis Black, Pete Holmes, Dan Cummins and Kathleen Madigan.
The organization represents the underlying composition copyrights of the work involved. It is intended to be a supplement to revenue already earned through SoundExchange, which handles the rights for sound recordings. To enable royalty collection, the company has teamed with Muserk, an AI-driven administration platform.