Three of music’s biggest stars are currently in some hot water over the single “The Rest of Our Life” which is a song released by country superstars Tim McGraw and Faith Hill but was co-written by pop star Ed Sheeran.
Australian songwriters Sean Carey and Beau Golden filed a lawsuit on Wednesday, January 10 in New York federal court claiming that the song “blatantly copied” their 2014 song “When I Found You” which was then performed by artist Jasmine Rae. The complaint reads, ““The copying is, in many instances, verbatim, note-for-note copying of original elements of the Song, and is obvious to the ordinary observer.”
The two songwriters are being represented by Richard Busch who is well known for winning the “Blurred Lines” case in which Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams had to pay Marvin Gaye’s family $5.3 million for the similarities between their hit and Gaye’s “Got to Give It Up.”
Along with the three stars, co-writers Johnny McDaid, Steve Mac and Amy Wadge were all also named in the suit as well as several publishers. The suit sees the two men seeking $5 million in damages along with an injunction to have the song permanently blocked. Of all the publishers, Sony is being explicitly named, with the suit reading, “It very well may have been an agent of Sony Music Entertainment who provided the other defendants herein with access to the Song.” Meanwhile an Australian Sony Music employee named Tim Hollan, who is Jasmine Rae’s boyfriend, has admitted to “presenting” the song to Sony Music “in an effort to gain exposure for Ms. Rae and promote her work.”
Although the case is still new, it is known that the recent “Blurred Lines” lawsuit and victory has changed the impact of copyright lawsuit on the music industry with the most common outcome being settlements. Recent cases have involved similarities between Sam Smith’s 2014 hit “Stay With Me” and Tom Petty’s 1990 song “I Won’t Back Down,” the writers of TLC’s 1999 hit “No Scrubs” being added to the credits of Sheeran’s “Shape of You,” and lawsuits involving the credits for Mark Ronson’s 2014 hit collaboration with Bruno Mars, “Uptown Funk,” which saw members of the Gap Band being added to the credits.