By Amanda Wicks
Two songwriters are suing Ed Sheeran for allegedly lifting their melody, rhythm and more for his hit single “Photograph.”
Martin Harrington and Thomas Leonard wrote a song titled “Amazing” in 2009. It would go on to be recorded by The X Factor‘s season 10 winner Matt Cardle, appearing on his debut studio album Letters in 2011. Fast forward to Sheeran’s 2014 album X, which contains the hit “Photograph,” a song that shares more than a few parallels to Harrington and Leonard’s work.
“The songs’ similarities reach the very essence of the work,” the lawsuit states, according to Billboard. “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 isn’t the only name on the lawsuit. The song’s co-writer Johnny McDaid as well as Sony/ATV Songs and Warner Music have been listed as defendants. In addition to the $20 million damages claim, the lawsuit will seek either an injunction against Sheeran’s song or a percentage of royalties.
Richard Busch will be representing Harrington and Leonard. He last represented Marvin Gaye’s family when they sued over similarities between Gaye’s song “Got To Give It Up” and Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” and won.
Before things turned litigious, someone on YouTube picked up on the similarities between the two songs. Listen to the side-by-side comparison below and decide for yourself.