London [UK], Apr. 12 : A 'Photograph' worth 20 million USD? Well, Ed Sheeran might be regretting it now. As reported by The Guardian, the 26-year-old singer has settled the 20 million USD plagiarism lawsuit for his song 'Photograph' outside of court.
An order signed by Judge James Selna at a California court on Monday said the case had been dismissed after an undisclosed agreement had been reached between Sheeran and the parties involved, including songwriters Martin Harrington and Thomas Leonard, according to The Guardian.
The singer was accused of copying "note-for-note" from a song called Amazing, released by the X Factor winner Matt Cardle five years ago.
Martin Harrington and Thomas Leonard, and their publishing company HaloSongs, accused him of "unabashedly taking credit" for their work.
"This copying is, in many instances, verbatim, note-for-note copying, [and] makes up nearly one half of Photograph," they said in a complaint lodged in July.
The songwriters claimed the chorus of 'Photograph' and 'Amazing' shared 39 identical notes and that the similarities were "instantly recognisable to the ordinary observer." The song 'Photograph,' released from Sheeran's album 'X' was a success and reached to number ten on US Billboard Hot 100 and the song's video has more than 300 million views on YouTube.
Dr Joe Bennett, a musicologist based at Boston Conservatory at Berklee who specialises in music copyright, said, "There are so many similarities between these two particular works, it is hard to dispute that it was obviously plagiarised and I'm not surprised they settled." The details of the settlement have not been released, but Consultant musicologist Christian Siddell revealed that Leonard and Harrington would be looking for songwriting credit and somewhere between 20 percent and 60 percent of the writer's share of the profits of the song.
This is the second plagiarism lawsuit against the 'Shape of You' hit-maker, with another ongoing case accusing him of plagiarizing the melody, harmony and composition of Marvin Gaye's 'Let's Get it On' in track 'Thinking Out Loud.' Till now, no response has come from Sheeran's side.