Ed Sheeran Faces $20 Million Lawsuit Over ‘Photograph’

Uh oh.

Ed Sheeran is facing a major lawsuit over his hit song “Photograph,” by songwriters Martin Harrington and Thomas Leonard. The plaintiffs claim Sheeran’s song is a “verbatim, note-for-note copying” of their song “Amazing,” written for Matt Cardle- X Factor‘s 2010 winner.

Harrington and Leonard have written songs for artists like Kylie Minogue and Emma Bunton, a former Spice Girls member. The two songwriters are also being joined by their publishing company, Halosongs, in the $20 million lawsuit. The lawsuit has been filed by Richard Busch, who was also involved in the high profile case of “Blurred Lines” copyright case. Busch served as Marvin Gaye’s family lawyer. It was settled for $5.3 million last year.

Busch is dedicating himself to this case as well. “My clients are professional songwriters,” he said. “Their work is their life, and I am honored that they have trusted me with this very important case.”

According to the lawsuit, the chorus in “Photograph” and “Amazing” have 70% notes in common. The case urges the original composition of “Amazing” and Cardle’s recorded version are too similar to “Photograph.”

“The similarities go beyond substantial, which is itself sufficient to establish copyright infringement, and are in fact striking,” the complaint states. “The similarity of words, vocal style, vocal melody, melody and rhythm are clear indicators, among other things, that ‘Photograph’ copies ‘Amazing.’”

Sheeran isn’t the only defendant named in this suit. It also includes Johnny McDaid, Sony/ATV Songs, Warner Music and Polar Patrol Music Publishing. The complaint makes the argument that “Photograph” is Polar Patrol’s most profitable song, which increased sale price.

“The profits of Defendants that Plaintiffs are entitled to recover thus include the portion of Polar Patrol’s sale price that may be attributable to the inclusion of the infringing ‘Photograph’ composition,” states the complaint. But it doesn’t stop there. The plaintiffs also want to include an injunction or running royalty and statutory damages.

What do you think? Check out the two songs below and make your own conclusion.



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