Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Plagiarism - Ed Sheeran sued over McGraw/Hill hit "Rest Of Our Life"

A lawsuit filed in New York federal court accuses Ed Sheeran and three of his co-writers of "blatant copying" an Australian hit by Jasmine Rae "When I Found You" into Tim McGraw and Faith Hill's top-20-hit "The Rest Of Our Life." Two of the original writers, Sean Carey and Beau Golden are seeking at least $ 5 million in damages plus profits, song royalties, covering of attorney's fees and costs, along with an injunction for the song to be permanently blocked. 

The lawsuit alleges that: "The copying is, in many instances, verbatim, note-for-note copying of original elements of the song, and is obvious to the ordinary observer." But it's not just the melody, both songs also have the same message, lauding a long-lasting romantic relationship and making both partners stronger in the end.

The two plaintiffs hired Nashville lawyer Richard Busch, who successfully won a trial for the family of Marvin Gaye. Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams were found guilty of infringing Marvin Gaye's "Got To Give It Up" into "Blurred Lines," a hit for Thicke. The Gaye estate was awarded $ 5.3 million.

This is not the first time Ed Sheeran is accused of copyright violations, Busch already sued the British composer and singer before. That $ 20 million lawsuit over the hit "Photograph" was settled out of court and since then the two suing songwriters are credited as co-writers of the song, which grants them a significant share of royalties.

The suit against Sheeran and his co-writers Johnny McDaid from Snow Patrol, Amy Wadge, and Steven McCutcheon also includes McGraw, Hill as well as the publishing companies and the record labels. It actually gets quite interesting, the suit claims, that a marketing manager of Sony Music Australia, Tim Holland who also happens to be the boyfriend of Jasmine Rae was aware of the infringement months before the McGraw/Hill hit was released. Rae, who is not part of the plaintiffs seeking damages, is also a co-writer on "When I Found You," and released the song on her 2015 album "HEARTBEAT."
The lawsuit alleges, that "It very well may have been an agent of Sony Music Entertainment who provided the other defendants herein with access to the Song."
It is also alleged that Mr. Holland may have presented "When I Found You" to Sony Music "in an effort to gain exposure for Ms. Rae and promote her work." and that he may have kept his silence about the infringement, in order to not "lose his job with Sony Music."
Another theory also stated in the complaint, of how Sheeran could have accessed the song, says that he was touring in Australia while "When I Found You" was being played on the local radio stations.

Both songs can be listened to below - tell me what you think in the comments.

Tim McGraw & Faith Hill

Jasmine Rae

Sources: Hollywood Reporter, Billboard, The Independent

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