Ed Sheeran has just been hit with allegations of copyright infringement after two writers noticed that “Photograph,” a song from Sheeran’s 2014 album, bears major similarities to a song they wrote way back in 2010.
Martin Harrington and Thomas Leonards, who were once writers for the Spice Girls and Australian dance superstar Kylie Minogue, filed a lawsuit against Sheeran, Johnny McDaid, Polar Patrol Music Publishing, Sony/ATV Songs and Warner Music amounting to $20 million.
The lawsuit alleges that Sheeran copied the notes of “Photograph” from “Amazing,” a song the plaintiffs wrote, which was recorded by 2010 “X Factor” winner Matt Cardle, Variety reported. “Photograph” was also recently used in the trailer of the romantic film “Me Before You.”
“My clients are professional songwriters,” Busch said. “Their work is their life, and I am honored that they have trusted me with this very important case.”
According to the suit, about 70 percent of the notes used in “Photograph” are found in “Amazing”, and that the similarities are too “striking” for them not to notice.
“The songs’ similarities reach the very essence of the work,” the complaint reads. “The similarities go beyond substantial, which is itself sufficient to establish copyright infringement, and are in fact striking. The similarity of words, vocal style, vocal melody, melody and rhythm are clear indicators, among other things, that ‘Photograph’ has copied ‘Amazing.’”
The two songwriters, along with their music publishing company HaloSongs, will be represented by Richard Busch, the same lawyer who acted on behalf of Marvin Gaye’s family in the high-profile “Blurred Lines” copyright case against Pharrell Williams and Robin Thicke.
In other news, Billboard recently announced Ed Sheeran as the most played artist in the UK in 2015. This happened after he dominated airwaves and streaming platforms due to hits like “Thinking Out Loud,” “Don’t” and “Bloodstream.”