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Copyright Infringement – Ed Sheeran is sued again!

Posted on Friday, 21st April 2017 by

Copyright Infringement – Ed Sheeran sued again!

Ed Sheeran found himself subject to a claim for Copyright Infringement for the second time with his song “Photograph”. Thomas Leonard and Martin Harrington alleged that the song had been copied from a song they had written “Amazing” which was released by X Factor winner Matt Cardle in 2011.

Leonard and Harrington accused Sheeran of “verbatim copying” the song “note for note” and Sheeran was “unabashedly taking credit” for their work. They claim that the chorus of both songs share 39 identical notes meaning the melody is “instantly recognisable to the ordinary observer”.

It was ordered by Judge James Selna on Monday 10th April 2017 that the case had been dismissed due to the parties reaching a settlement. It was later discovered that Ed Sheeran agreed to pay the songwriters $20m (£13.8m) to conclude the dispute.

The Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 provides that copyright infringement is the illegal copying of original material for financial gain. In order to prove copyright in music, the key elements that need to be established are that there was substantial similarity in the music, the copier had access to the original song and the melody was original. It could be argued that there are limited melodies and chord combinations available and so it is inevitable that some works may share similarities. However, Copyright Infringement in the music industry is becoming increasingly popular, with the worlds biggest artists finding themselves subject to a law battle.

If you would like to discuss the contents of this blog or have any related queries, please do not hesitate to contact our Advisory Dispute Resolution department on 0330 024 9643 or contact Neusha Mazaher direct by email addressed to neusha.mazaher@ehlcommercial.co.uk.

The information provided in all of our blogs reflects only a narrative of some elements to consider on the topic. The blogs do not contain considered legal advice and should not be relied upon as advice. Please see our website terms and conditions for full details of our disclaimer. If you are interested in obtaining advice, please contact a member of the team who will be happy and able to advise you on your own particular circumstances.

Should you have any queries relating to copyright infringement, please do not hesitate to contact our Advisory and Dispute Resolution department for a free telephone assessment.
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The information provided in all of our blogs reflects only a narrative of some elements to consider on the topic. The blogs do not contain considered legal advice and should not be relied upon as advice. Please see our website terms and conditions for full details of our disclaimer. If you are interested in obtaining advice, please contact one of our lawyers who will be happy and able to advise you on your own particular circumstances.

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