Ed Sheeran sued for $20m for allegedly copying X Factor winner

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According to this report, Ed Sheeran’s song ‘Photograph’ is being sued for allegedly copying ‘Amazing’ – a track released in 2009 by then X Factor winner Matt Cardle.

Martin Harrington and Thomas Leonard, the songwriters pursuing the case through publishing company HaloSongs. say that Sheeran’s hit derives from the single released in 2009 by Cardle. They are being represented by attorney Richard Busch, who previously conducted a lawsuit involving Robin Thicke’s ‘Blurred Lines’, which resulted in a pay-out of $5.3m.

Image via Hollywood Reporter.

Image via Hollywood Reporter.

When asked about the case, Busch said: “My clients are professional songwriters. Their work is their life, and I am honoured that they have trusted me with this very important case.” Busch is expected to call on a variety of forms of evidence during the case, not least the similarities between chord progression and musical notation.

The complaint goes onto say that ‘Photograph’, which Sheeran famously said in an interview “will be the one [song] that will change [his]… career path,” shares 70% of it’s chorus with ‘Amazing’. The complaint in full reads: “The songs’ similarities reach the very essence of the work,  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.”

Sheeran is not the only person to face charges with ‘Photograph’ as the song is also credited to co-writer Johnny McDaid, Sony/ATV Songs, Warner Music, and others including the recently sold Polar Patrol Music Publishing. With Sheeran’s net value estimated to be north of $20m and the song’s recent use in the film Me Before You, this case looks set to smash the record for copyright lawsuits if Sheeran is found to be in the wrong.

You can decide for yourself the similarities between the two songs below.

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