Ed Sheeran Sued Over “Photograph” Resembling Matt Cardle’s “Amazing”
In February 2012, onetime UK X Factor winner Matt Cardle released the single “Amazing” off his debut album, and it scraped its way to #84 on the British chart. Just a few months later, Ed Sheeran was on the road opening for Snow Patrol, and he co-wrote “Photograph” with the latter act’s Johnny McDaid. (It was eventually released as a single three years later.)
“That was written on the Snow Patrol tour in May 2012, in a hotel room in Kansas,” Sheeran told Spotify in 2014. “My friend Johnny McDaid who plays guitar and keyboards with them was on his laptop, and he had a loop of this piano piece just going on and on. I was sat on the floor making a Lego X-Wing Fighter to give to his sister for a charity auction and this piano loop keeps playing, and I start singing a line and the song kind of unravelled from there. We sat for about four hours, me making Lego, and him on the laptop, just building stuff and then I picked up a guitar and we properly structured it.”
Now the writers of Cardle’s song, Martin Harrington (who also co-wrote Kylie Minogue‘s “Love At First Sight”) and Thomas Leonard, have enlisted attorney Richard Busch, noted for representing Marvin Gaye‘s family in the “Blurred Lines” case, and sued Sheeran to the tune of $20 million for the resemblance “Photograph” bears to their composition.
“The songs’ similarities reach the very essence of the work,” reads the lawsuit. “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.’”
To be honest, both of these songs are boring as hell, and it surprises me that anybody would want to take credit for either one. At any rate, listen to each one above and see if you think there’s any merit to the suit.