LOS ANGELES, June 9 (UPI) — Ed Sheeran has been faced with a $20 million copyright lawsuit over his hit song “Photograph.”
Filed Wednesday in Los Angeles federal court, the suit brought forth by songwriters Martin Harrington and Thomas Leonard along with their publishing company HaloSongs, claim that Sheeran’s “Photograph” features “verbatim, note-for-note copying,” of their song “Amazing” according to court documents.
“Amazing,” a single by 2010 “X Factor” winner Matt Cardle was released in 2011. Harrington and Leonard are being represented by attorney Richard Busch, famous for successfully suing Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams for $5.3 million for the family of Marvin Gaye over hit song “Blurred Lines.”
“My clients are professional songwriters,” Busch said to Billboard. “Their work is their life, and I am honored that they have trusted me with this very important case.”
The filing claims that “Photograph” has the same musical composition of “Amazing” and includes musical note comparisons and chord breakdowns of the two songs.
“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.”
To date, “Photograph” has sold 3.5 million copies while its music video has garnered 208 million views on Youtube with “Amazing” earning 1.2 million views.
Harrington and Leonard are also suing Snow Patrol’s Johnny McDaid, who is credited as a co-writer on “Photograph” as well as various divisions of Sony/ATV Music Publishing, Warner Music Group and its subsidiary, Atlantic Recording Corporation.
The songwriting pair is also seeking royalties from the song in addition to the $20 million.