Ed Sheeran has caught the ire of a pair of Australian songwriters for what they allege is a pretty blatant rip-off of one of their own tracks, which they describe as “almost a note-for-note copy”.
As the Sydney Morning Herald reports, Sydney musicians Sean Carey and Beau Golden are levelling the accusations at Sheeran’s co-written tracks ‘The Rest Of Our Life’ which, rather than being released by the singer himself, was made for the U.S. country pairing or Faith Hill and Tim McGraw.
Carey was formerly a guitarist for Thirsty Merc, while Golden played keyboard for names like Guy Sebastian, and the duo had written ‘When I Found You’ for Jasmine Rae, an Australian act who also happens to play country music.
Sheeran and the song’s other co-writers are being sued for “willful copyright infringement” over the alleged duplication of the piano ballad, with everything from the melody to the lyrical content being called into question in the claim, which was published by The Hollywood Reporter.
“The copying is, in many instances, verbatim, note-for-note copying of important and original elements of the song, and is obvious to the ordinary observer,” it claims.
The duo have taken on the services of attorney Richard Busch, the Herald reports – the infamous figure who won the precedent-setting case against Pharrell and Robin Thicke for their song ‘Blurred Lines’ on behalf of Marvin Gaye’s family.
Curiously, Jasmine Rae is not one of the plaintiffs in this case, despite being a co-writer of the ‘original’. As the Herald notes, the complaint even alleges that her partner, who worked for Sony Music, may have leaked the track to the label in an effort to “gain exposure for Ms Rae and promote her work”, implying that the core of the song was then possibly lifted for the new composition.
Going even further, the duo also state that the peak of the song’s chart success coincided with Sheeran’s Australian tour, and that he may have heard the song on commercial radio at that point.
They claim he and his co-writers have now profited to the tune of over $5m USD for their track, when streams and live performances are taken into account, and are chasing a yet to be determined amount of royalties.
The complaint says that based on downloads, Spotify and YouTube streams, TV broadcasts and live performances, Sheeran and his co-writers have profited in excess of $US5 million from The Rest of Our Life. The pair are seeking damages and royalties to be determined in a trial.
Aside from his success with the landmark ‘Blurred Lines’ case, the Herald notes that Richard Busch has had plenty of success against Sheeran already, with a previous case against Sheeran’s ‘Photograph’ being settled for $20 million USD – just one of several instances of the singer being called into question for similarities in his songs.
Check ’em out below and make up your own mind!