Ed Sheeran and country stars Tim McGraw and Faith Hill are set to face legal action over allegations they plagiarised a track written by two Australian songwriters.
"The copying is, in many instances, verbatim, note-for-note copying of original elements of the Song, and is obvious to the ordinary observer", the complaint reads, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Sheeran, along with co-writers Johnny McDaid, Steve Mac (real name Steve McCutcheon) and Amy Wadge and their respective publishing companies were accused of ripping off "When I Found You", by that song's co-writers Sean Carey and Beau Golden. "In support of this position, Plaintiffs allege, upon information and belief, that Mr. Holland presented Plaintiffs' song to Sony Music in an effort to gain exposure for Ms. Rae and promote her work". The suit claims that "The Rest of Our Life" was copied from the song "When I Found You". Carey and Golden allege in their lawsuit that, "The two songs are musically similar, while also containing similar lyrics and identical themes of love and marriage". In this case, it's alleged that the copying was fully known by employees of Sony Music.
And there's more. "The Tennessean" also reports that there is a personal connection between Sony and the performer of "When I Found You", a singer named Jasmine Rae.
Aussie songwriters sue Ed Sheeran over 'blatantly copied' song
The plaintiffs are asking for a judge to award a permanent injunction blocking the use of the song, and are seeking at least $5 million in monetary damages, according to the newspaper. The two were tipped off during a conference call with Tim Holland, a Sony marketing manager and the boyfriend of "When I Found You" co-writer Jasmine Rae.
"Indeed, it strains credibility to believe that it is just a coincidence that the Infringing Song/Infringing Sound Recording, a blatant note-for-note copy of the song, was created without Mr. Holland's providing access, when Mr. Holland is the boyfriend of one of the writers of the song".
The McGraw/Hill song has been popular, with more than 8 million streams of Spotify.
As an alternative theory, the plaintiffs stated that Sheeran was "touring extensively" across Australia when the track "When I Found You" was being played frequently on the radio. Their record label, Arista Nashville, a division of Sony Music, was also named in the suit.