Ed Sheeran’s week has taken an interesting turn with the pop star at the wrong end of a $20 million plagiarism lawsuit. It’s been alleged Sheeran stole up to 70 per cent of his song Photograph from an X-Factor UK winner who’s now come a-knocking.
According to The Hollywoord Reporter songwriters, Martin Harrington and Thomas Leonard and their publishing company HaloSongs, say Sheeran’s Photograph is a “verbatim, note-for-note ” of their 2009 track Amazing, released as a single by Matt Cardle, who won The X Factor in 2010.
Photograph was featured on Sheeran’s 2011 debut full-length, and is the song Sheeran once said changed his career path. “The songs’ similarities reach the very essence of the work,” states the complaint. “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’ copies ‘Amazing.'”
Interestingly, the plaintiffs are being represented by the same attorney who represented the Marvin Gaye family in the Blurred Lines copyright case, which resulted in a staggering $5.3 million judgment for the family. “My clients are professional songwriters,” said attorney Richard Busch. “Their work is their life, and I am honored that they have trusted me with this very important case.”
The $20 million being sought covers statutory damages and a cheeky bump of some of the tracks royalties. So far no one from Camp Sheeran has commented on the claims.
You can hear both tracks below so you can be an educated voice in the court of public opinion on this one.
LISTEN: Ed Sheeran – Photograph
LISTEN: Matt Cardle – Amazing