ORIGINAL ideas, Ed Sheeran.
Sheeran’s big hit “Photograph” from last summer is coming under fire, because it’s being hit with a giganto $20 million lawsuit that the song is note-for-note copied! And not just with some unknown weirdo who wants money. no, some serious heavy hitters are calling BS on Ed’s song’s “originality.” Check it:
Song theft lawsuits are increasingly common, but this one has plaintiffs who have written chart-toppers for many prominent artists in the industry including Kylie Minogue and Spice Girl Emma Bunton. The suing songwriters, Martin Harrington and Thomas Leonard, along with their publishing company HaloSongs, say Sheeran’s “Photograph” derives from their 2009 work, “Amazing,” which was recorded and released as a single by Matt Cardle, the winner of the 2010 season of the television competition show The X Factor. Perhaps most notably, the plaintiffs are represented by attorney Richard Busch, whose last big copyright lawsuit was on behalf of the Marvin Gaye family over the hit, “Blurred Lines.” That one resulted in a head-turning $5.3 million judgment.
“My clients are professional songwriters,” says Busch. “Their work is their life, and I am honored that they have trusted me with this very important case.”
The lawsuit attempts to make the case that “Photograph,” which Sheeran said in an interview “will be the one that will change [his]… career path” and reached No. 1 on the Billboard US Adult Top 40 chart in May 2015, is too similar to both the composition written by Harrington and Leonard as well as the version recorded by Cardle (which ironically, has a lyric about “the stairway to heaven always starts in hell”). In particular, there’s the chorus, which according to the complaint shares 39 identical notes — about 70 percent — in pitch, rhythmic duration and placement in the measure.
“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.'”
The profits of the defendants are estimated to exceed $20 million, and the plaintiffs are also seeking statutory damages and either an injunction or a running royalty. No comment from Sheeran’s camp, but according to the complaint, they’ve already been given notice of the allegations and continue to use “Photograph” (the song was also released in a major motion picture, Me Before You, which means more entanglement. Wohoo!).
Check out the song comparison HERE, and then let us know what you THINK!!!
Posted Thursday, June 9th, 2016 at 9:09am
Filed under Ed Sheeran