Last year, a judge ordered “Blurred Lines” writers Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams to pay a staggering $7.3 million in damages to Marvin Gaye’s family for ripping off Gaye’s “Got To Give It Up.” The number was reduced to a meager $3.2 million a few months later, but the lawsuit seems to have emboldened other songwriters who feel like they’ve been wronged by big-name superstars. According to Billboard, adorable moppet Ed Sheeran has now been hit with a lawsuit alleging that his smash-hit song “Photograph” is a ripoff of a track released by X-Factor winner Matt Cardle called “Amazing.” On top of that, the songwriters suing Sheeran have even hired attorney Richard Busch, the same guy behind that “Blurred Lines” lawsuit, so this could end up being a pretty big deal.
The lawsuit alleges that “Photograph”—which was co-written by Sheeran and Johnny McDaid—contains “verbatim, note-for-note copying” and that the similarities between it and the other song are “striking” and “reach the very essence of the work.” The suit also calls out “the similarity of words, vocal style, vocal melody, melody, and rhythm” as being “clear indicators” that “Photograph” ripped off “Amazing.” The complaint also claims that the chorus of “Photograph” contains “about 70 percent” of the exact same notes as “Amazing” in “pitch, rhythmic duration, and placement in the measure.”
The plaintiffs in this case are reportedly looking for $20 million, in addition to “statutory damages and either an injunction or a running royalty.” In other words, this could be worth a whole lot of money.
You can listen to the two songs and judge for yourself below.