Ed Sheeran Settles With Songwriters Who Claimed He Stole “Photograph”

Ed Sheeran has come to a deal to end a $20 million copyright infringement lawsuit brought by two songwriters over his hit, “Photograph.”

On Friday, court papers were filed dismissing the case with prejudice, but also stipulating that a California federal court would retain jurisdiction to enforce the terms of an agreement. No word on the settlement terms, but co-defendants Sheeran, Sony/ATV and Warner Music likely provided some consideration to escape the claims.

Martin Harrington and Thomas Leonard, along with their publishing company HaloSongs, filed the lawsuit in June 2016, alleging that “Photograph” derived from their 2009 work “Amazing,” which was recorded and released as a single by Matt Cardle, the winner of the 2010 season of the television competition show The X Factor. They were represented in court by Richard Busch, the attorney who prevailed at trial on behalf of the Marvin Gaye family in the copyright lawsuit over “Blurred Lines.”

The complaint, which charged “verbatim, note-for-note copying,” and included sheet music to prove it, was initially challenged on pleading standards and jurisdiction, but in January a judge let it move forward.

The defendants, including “Photograph” co-writer Johnny McDaid, were represented by Michael Niborski and Ilene Farkas at Pryor Cashman.

This story originally appeared in The Hollywood Reporter.

Tags: Ed Sheeran