British pop star Ed Sheeran has been sued for copyright infringement by two California songwriters. Martin Harrington and Tom Leonard claim Sheeran and co-writer Johnny McDaid of the band Snow Patrol copied, almost note for note, a song titled “Amazing” when they wrote Sheeran’s hit song “Photograph.” “Amazing,” sung by Matt Cardle, peaked at No. 84 in the United Kingdom. “Photograph” became a top 10 hit in the United States, selling over 3.5 million copies.
The other named defendants in the lawsuit are McDaid, Sony Music, Warner Music, and Atlantic Recording Corporation. Harrington and Leonard are seeking $20 million in damages.
The lawsuit states the chorus sections of “Amazing” and “Photograph” share 39 notes which are identical in pitch, rhythmic duration, and placement in the measure. The lawsuit goes on to state the similarities between the two songs are “beyond substantial,” which is in itself sufficient to establish a case of copyright infringement. Harrington and Leonard believe “Photograph” was a catalyst to Sheeran’s career, as the song was featured as the fifth single on Sheeran’s breakout 2014 album “x.”
Harrington and Leonard have hired Nashville attorney Richard Busch as counsel. Busch recently represented the family of Marvin Gaye against American artists Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams, winning a $7.4 million jury verdict which was eventually reduced to $5.3 million.Tags: Ed Sheeran, Matt Cardle, photograph