Thursday, 15 November, 2018

Aussie songwriters sue Ed Sheeran over 'blatantly copied' song

Aussie songwriters sue Ed Sheeran over 'blatantly copied' song Aussie songwriters sue Ed Sheeran over 'blatantly copied' song
Stacy Diaz | 12 January, 2018, 17:03

The Rest of Our Life, a song Sheeran co-wrote for United States country stars Tim McGraw and Faith Hill, has been hit with a lawsuit by Sydney songwriters Sean Carey and Beau Golden, who claim the track is "almost a note-for-note copy" of their song with Rae, When I Found You.

"When I Found You" was co-written by Carey and Golden with Rae in 2014 and reportedly achieved commercial success in Australia as the most-played song on the Australian country chart in 2016.

"The copying is, in many instances, verbatim, note-for-note copying of original elements of the Song, and is obvious to the ordinary observer", the filing alleges. Their suit names McGraw, Hill, Sheeran, McDaid, Wadge and Mac, as well as Sony / ATV, Universal Polygram, WB Music and more, and alleges that Sony employees knew about the copying.

The plaintiffs claim that Holland shared Rae's "When I Found You" with the defendants "in an effort to gain exposure for Ms. Rae and promote her work".

Below are videos of Jasmine Rae's "When I Found You" and Tim and Faith's "The Rest of Our Life". Tim McGraw and Faith Hill are now signed to Sony, and Holland admitted that he already knew about the songs' striking similarities. Sony Music's Arista Nashville, the couple's record label, was also named in the lawsuit.

"When I Found You" performer Jasmine Rae and the two songwriters were allegedly alerted of the similarities of the two songs after a fan pointed it out on Twitter.

"Plaintiffs became suspicious that not only was Mr Holland aware of the copying of When I Found You by the Defendant Writers far in advance of the Infringing Song/Sound Recordings' release, but also that he was instrumental in bringing Plaintiffs' work to the attention of the Defendants and likely provided access to it", the filing states.

McGraw, Hill and Sheeran are yet to respond to the suit.

Carey and Golden are being represented by attorney Richard Busch, who previously won an infamous copyright suit on behalf of Marvin Gaye's family against Robin Thicke and Pharrell's Blurred Lines, and led a $US20 million suit against Sheeran's Photograph which was settled out of court.

"Indeed, it strains credibility to believe that it is just a coincidence that the Infringing Song/Infringing Sound Recording, a blatant note for note copy of the Song, was created without Mr. Holland's providing access, when Mr. Holland is the boyfriend of one of the writers of the Song", the legal filing says.

"The Rest of Our Life" has 9.6 million YouTube views and over 8 million streams on Spotify.