$20M Lawsuit Claims Ed Sheeran's 'Photograph' Copied 2012 Song | NBC Bay Area

$20M Lawsuit Claims Ed Sheeran's 'Photograph' Copied 2012 Song

The suit cites "the similarity of words, vocal style, vocal melody, melody and rhythm"



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    Ed Sheeran performs onstage at A+E Networks "Shining A Light" concert at The Shrine Auditorium on November 18, 2015, in Los Angeles.

    One of Ed Sheeran's chart-topping tracks is under new scrutiny as the Grammy-winning singer has been hit with a lawsuit alleging "Photograph" is a copy of a 2012 song.

    Martin Harrington and Thomas Leonard, and their publishing company HaloSongs, say in a suit filed Wednesday in Los Angeles that the hit copies their song "Amazing."

    Harrington and Leonardo's single was sung by Matt Cardle, the winner of the 2010 season of "The X Factor."

    The plaintiffs are being represented by Richard Busch, the same attorney who represented the Marvin Gaye family during their successful recent lawsuit over the single "Blurred Lines."

    E! News obtained the court documents, which claim "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."

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    The complaint adds that "the similarity of words, vocal style, vocal melody, melody and rhythm are clear indicators, amount other things, that 'Photograph' copies 'Amazing.'"

    Sheeran's representative did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

    Busch told NBC News in a statement: "My clients are professional songwriters. Their work is their life and I am honored that they have trusted me with this very important case."

    The plaintiffs have estimated profits for the defendants (including Sheeran) have exceeded $20 million, and they are seeking statutory damages as well as either a running royalty or an injunction.

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