Ed Sheeran Settles $20 Million Plagiarism Lawsuit for ''Photograph''

Singer reaches agreement outside of court with songwriters Martin Harrington and Thomas Leonard

By Lily Harrison Apr 11, 2017 8:43 PMTags

UPDATE: According to The Guardian, Ed Sheeran settled the $20 million plagiarism lawsuit for "Photograph" outside of court on Monday.

The publication reports that an order signed by Judge James Selna at a California court said the case had been dismissed after an undisclosed agreement had been reached between the Sheeran and the parties involved, including songwriters Martin Harrington and Thomas Leonard.


One of Sheeran's chart-topping tracks is currently under hot water.

The Grammy-winning singer has been hit with a lawsuit by Martin Harrington and Thomas Leonard, and their publishing company HaloSongs, who allege that Sheeran's "Photograph" is a copy of their 2009 song "Amazing."

Harrington and Leonardo's single was sung by Matt Cardle, the winner of the 2010 season of The X Factor.

The plaintiffs are currently being represented by Richard Busch, the same attorney who represented the Marvin Gaye family during their recent lawsuit over the single, "Blurred Lines."

E! News has obtained the court documents, which claim that "the songs' similarities reach the very essence of the work. The similarities go beyond substantial, which is itself sufficient to establish copyright infringement, and are in fact striking."

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The complaint adds that "the similarity of words, vocal style, vocal melody, melody and rhythm are clear indicators, amount other things, that ‘Photograph' copies ‘Amazing.'"

Busch told NBC News, "My clients are professional songwriters. Their work is their life and I am honored that they have trusted me with this very important case. We set out the facts in the lawsuit in great detail."

The plaintiffs have estimated that the defendants (including Sheeran) have profited over $20 million, and they are seeking statutory damages as well as either a running royalty or an injunction.


A month after the "Photograph" lawsuit, E! News learned Sheeran was sued yet again for his hit "Thinking Out Loud."

Marvin Gaye and Ed Townsend co-wrote the 1973 classic song, "Let's Get It On" and the Townsend's heirs are suing the pop singer for copyright infringement.

Sheeran's team has yet to return request for comment.

(Originally published on June 8, 2016, at 1:46 PM PT)