Ed Sheeran has settled a lawsuit with two composers who claimed his 2014 song Photograph was from a 2009 track of their own. The singing star was being sued by two composers for $20m (£16m) who claimed his tune – from his award-winning album Multiply (x) – was similar to their composition, Amazing.
Musicians Martin Harrington and Thomas Leonard brought the copyright infringement against the British-born singer and alleged that Photograph drew on a song they penned in 2009 which was recorded and released as a single by Matt Cardle, the winner of the 2010 series of The X Factor.
The lawsuit claimed that Amazing had been copied “verbatim” with “note for note copying”.
It has been reported that court papers were filed on Friday (7 April) dismissing the case with prejudice, meaning permanently, but stipulating that a California federal court would retain jurisdiction to ensure the terms of an agreement were adhered to.
The lawyer for Harrington and Leonard confirmed the case had been settled but was unable to comment further.
Ed, who is currently riding high in the charts with his latest album, Divide (÷), still occupying the number one spot, five weeks after its release, is also facing a lawsuit over allegations he copied core elements of Marvin Gaye’s classic, Let’s Get It On, for his 2014 hit, Thinking Out Loud.
Key elements of the song have been described as “strikingly similar” to the 1973 track and the heirs of Ed Townsend, who co-wrote Let’s Get It On with Gaye, have filed the copyright motion and asked for damages to be assessed at a jury trial.
Sheeran’s Thinking Out Loud did well in the charts and became the first song to spend a full year in the Top 40 while earning the star two Grammy awards.