Ed Sheeran is being sued for $20 million for allegedly ripping off a song originally written for 2010 X Factor winner Matt Cardle.
The chart-topping singer-songwriter is accused of “verbatim, note-for-note copying” for his number one ballad “Photograph.”
Cardle’s songwriters Martin Harrington and Thomas Leonard say the song is an identical copy of their song “Amazing”.
The lawsuit claims that “Photograph” is “too similar to both the composition written by Harrington and Leonard as well as the version recorded by Cardle”, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
“The similarities go beyond substantial, which is itself sufficient to establish copyright infringement and are in fact striking,” it continues. “The similarity of words, vocal style, vocal melody, melody and rhythm are clear indicators, among other things, that ‘Photograph’ copies ‘Amazing’.”
The lawsuit claim there are “39 identical notes.” The ‘Amazing’ songwriters also argue that Sheeran has continued to perform ‘Photograph’ despite being given notice of the lawsuit.
Here’s a YouTube video that shows the shocking similarities in the two songs.
A fan uploaded the video in February which mashes up the two songs together.
Harrington and Leonard, who have also written songs for Kylie Minogue and Emma Bunton, will seek statutory damages and either a running royalty or injunction.
The songwriters are being represented by Richard Busch, the same attorney who won the copyright infringement case against Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams on behalf of Marvin Gaye’s family last year.
Ed Sheeran’s representatives have not responded to requests for comment at this time.