Martin Harrington and Thomas Leonard, the songwriters behind British X-Factor winner Matt Cardle’s 2010 single “Amazing,” sued Ed Sheeran for $20 million earlier this year, alleging that Sheeran’s 2014 track “Photograph” ripped off their song. Now, according to The Hollywood Reporter, Sheeran is seeking to dismiss the suit on account of its “breathtakingly long paragraphs.” Although Harrington and Leonard’s complaint includes such concise phrases as “verbatim, note-for-note copying,” it’s also extremely long. Or as Sheeran’s lawyers put it:
Defying the most fundamental pleading requirement of providing short, concise and plain statements, the First Amended Complaint consists of 44 sprawling pages of prolix, repetitive, argumentative and scandalous allegations, made mostly on “information and belief.” It makes sweeping, generalized allegations — in 156 paragraphs, some of which go on for pages and contain upwards of 25 or 30 different sentences — against 11 distinct Defendants.
Essentially, Sheeran is arguing that the complaint violates the rule requiring a “short and plain” statement, whereas Harrington and Leonard’s camp believe a detailed document –including pages of precise musical notation — is necessary to explain the fault of all 11 defendants. If this is Sheeran’s best argument, does that mean he knows he’s guilty? Considering this is the guy who covered “Trap Queen” in acoustic frat-folk style, it wouldn’t be the most shameless thing he ever did.