Music Charts — June 9, 2016 at 12:28 pm

Ed Sheeran faces $20 million lawsuit over copyright theft of hit song “Photograph”


Ed Sheeran’s 2015 song “Photograph” was one of the smash hits of 2014, was a top 10 hit in the United States and sold more than 3.5 million copies. But now a pair of California songwriters are claiming that the song borrows heavily from their 2009 song. And they want $20 million to make things right. ed-sheeran-1


A lawsuit filed Wednesday alleges the English singer-songwriter of “verbatim, note-for-note copying” of songwriters Martin Harrington and Thomas Leonard from their 2009 song “Amazing,” which was released as a single by Matt Cardle, winner of the 2010 season of The X Factor.


According to NBC News, Nashville-based attorney Richard Busch is representing the artists. The lawyer set a precedent for legal disputes over song similarities when representing Marvin Gaye’s family in a landmark victory over “Blurred Lines,” the Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams hit. A jury found Thicke and Williams guilty of copying Gaye’s 1977 song “Got to Give it Up,” awarding his family nearly $7.4 million.


The lawyer made a statement to NBC saying, “my clients are professional songwriters. Their work is their life, and I am honored that they have trusted me with this very important case.”


“The chorus sections of Amazing and the infringing Photograph share 39 identical notes — meaning the notes are identical in pitch, rhythmic duration, and placement in the measure,” reads the lawsuit, which was filed in a Los Angeles federal court. “The similarity of words, vocal style, vocal melody, melody, and rhythm are clear indicators, among other things, that Photograph copies Amazing.”


Fans on social media have weighed in on the debate, posting a video encouraging listeners to make their mind up on whether the songs are too similar. What do you think?