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Singer, Ed Sheeran, faces $20m copyright lawsuit over ‘Photograph’ song

Los Angeles – Grammy-winning singer, Ed Sheeran, is facing a 20 million dollars copyright infringement lawsuit over his hit song “Photograph.”

Ed Sheeran
Ed Sheeran

According to court documents filed on Wednesday at Federal Court in the Central District of California, two California-based musicians claim that Sheeran’s song bears a similar structure to one of their songs.

The two musicians, Martin Harrington, a songwriter and producer, and Thomas Leonard, a songwriter, are seeking jury trial and damages in excess of 20 million dollars, as well as royalties from the song.

They alleged that Sheeran’s ballad “Photograph,” released as a single in 2015, has the same musical composition with their song “Amazing,” which they said they wrote in 2009.

In documents that include musical note comparison and chord breakdowns of the two songs, Harrington and Leonard claimed that the chorus of Sheeran’s “Photograph” shared 39 identical notes with “Amazing.”

They noted that “the similarities are instantly recognisable to the ordinary observer.”

Other named defendants include Snow Patrol’s Johnny McDaid, credited as a co-writer of “Photograph,” as well as units of Sony/ATV Music Publishing, Warner Music Group and its subsidiary, Atlantic Recording Corporation.

The court documents added that “Photograph” sold more than 3.5 million copies worldwide.

It added that recently, the song featured prominently in romantic drama movie “Me Before You” released last week, as well as trailers for the film.

Sheeran, 25, has become one of UK’s top-selling artists in the past two years, and has written and co-written tracks for artists such as One Direction,
Taylor Swift and Justin Bieber.

“Photograph” was the fifth single from Sheeran’s breakout 2014 album “x” (pronounced ‘multiply’).

He won award for Song of the Year with his hit ”Thinking Out Loud” at the 58th Grammy Awards in Los Angeles in February.


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