Ed Sheeran, Tim McGraw and Faith Hill have been hit with a copyright infringement lawsuit by two Australian songwriters who say their recent collaboration is too similar to one of their songs.
The lawsuit, filed on Wednesday in New York federal court by Sean Cary and Beau Golden, claims that the McGraw-Hill duet penned by Sheeran, “The Rest of Our Life,” bears substantial similarities to their 2014 song “When I Found You,” performed by Jasmine Rae (who is not participating in the suit).
In addition to the three performers, the suit also names co-writers Johnny McDaid and Amy Wadge, Sony/ATV, Universal Polygram and WB Music as defendants, among others.
The suit argues that “The Rest of Our Life” is “in many instances, verbatim, note-for-note copying of original elements of [“When I Found You”], and is obvious to the ordinary observer.”
Carey and Golden say Rae’s boyfriend, Tim Holland, a Sony Music employee, was aware that the two songs were substantially similar prior to the release of “The Rest of Our Life.” The suit alleges that he may have been the one to bring the original song to the defendants’ attention “in an effort to gain exposure for Ms. Rae and promote her work.”
The co-writers are seeking $5 million in damages in addition to royalties on the McGraw-Hill song and attorneys’ fees. They are being represented by Richard Busch, the Nashville attorney who successfully won the landmark “Blurred Lines” case for the family Marvin Gaye.
Pamela Chelin contributed to this report.