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One of Ed Sheeran’s biggest hits is coming under fire.
The beloved 25-year-old singer has been faced with a fairly substantial lawsuit by Martin Harrington and Thomas Leonard, along with their publishing company HaloSongs who are alleging in the suit that Sheeran’s song “Photograph” is actually a copy of their song “Amazing” from 2009. The song was performed by 2010’s The X Factor winner Matt Cardle.
The songwriters are being represented by Richard Busch, who just finished up another major song copyright lawsuit, representing Marvin Gaye’s family who sued Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams over the single “Blurred Lines.” In the lawsuit, Harrington and Leonard are claiming that the two songs similarities reach the “very essence” of the work and “the similarities go beyond substantial, which is itself sufficient to establish copyright infringement and are in fact striking.” It continues, “the similarity of words, vocal style, vocal melody, melody and rhythm are clear indicators, amount other things, that ‘Photograph’ copies ‘Amazing.'”
Busch also spoke to NBC News stating, “My clients are professional songwriters. Their work is their life and I am honored that they have trusted me with this very important case. We set out the facts in the lawsuit in great detail.” The lawsuit is for around $20 million and they are seeking statutory damages as well as either a running royalty or an injunction.
Ed Sheeran’s rep has not responded to the lawsuit.