Ed Sheeran sued for $20m by songwriters behind X Factor’s Matt Cardle

The writers of ‘Amazing’ say the Suffolk singer copied the song for ‘Photograph’

Ed Sheeran is reportedly being sued for $20m by the songwriters behind X Factor winner Matt Cardle’s single, ‘Amazing’, who allege the Suffolk singer copied it for his 2014 smash-hit ‘Photograph’.

Songwriters Martin Harrington and Thomas Leonard say Sheeran copied ‘Amazing’ “note-for-note” and, according to The Guardian, have signed up Attorney Richard Busch to represent them, who won the ‘Blurred Lines’ case for Marvin Gaye’s family. Cardle is not thought to be a party to proceedings.

The lawsuit, which was filed in a Los Angeles federal court earlier today (Wednesday) reportedly claimed, “The chorus sections of ‘Amazing’ and the infringing ‘Photograph’ share 39 identical notes – meaning the notes are identical in pitch, rhythmic duration, and placement in the measure.

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“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. The similarity of words, vocal style, vocal melody, melody, and rhythm are clear indicators, among other things, that ‘Photograph’ copies ‘Amazing’.”

The single was Cardle’s third after winning the X Factor, but only reached No. 84 in the UK, with its video attaining over 1 million plays on YouTube. By comparison, ‘Photograph’ is largely attributed as being key to launching Sheeran to the global status he currently enjoys. The lawsuit claims that as of June 1, it has sold more than 3.5m copies. The video for the song has also received over 208 million plays on YouTube.

In more light-hearted news for the star, Sheeran pledged to dress in a red tutu and eat “the most disgusting food in Japan” last month, if enough money is raised for Comic Relief. That was after he was presented the Grammy for Song Of The Year by Stevie Wonder in February.