"The Rest Of Our Life" a year ago became an worldwide hit for McGraw and Hill, but now Australian duo Sean Carey and Beau Golden have claimed that it was "blatantly copied" from their 2014 track "When I Found You", written for Jasmine Rae.
Sean Carey and Beau Golden filed their lawsuit in NY federal court on Wednesday (Jan. 10), the Hollywood Reporter reports.
"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 filing alleges.
Sheeran is named in the suit as a co-writer of "The Rest Of Our Life", along with his writing partners Johnny McDaid, Steve Mac and Amy Wadge.
"Specifically, "When I Found You" and "The Rest Of Our Life" are substantially similar in bars 1-8 of both songs", the lawsuit says.More news: Theo Walcott: Everton in negotiations to sign Arsenal forward permanently
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"When questioned by Plaintiffs as to his silence about the similarities between "When I Found You" and the Infringing Song/Infringing Sound Recording, Mr. Holland stated he did not want to lose his job with Sony Music", the lawsuit explains.
"There are a plethora of additional ways in which the Defendant Writers could have heard When I Found You, not the least of which being the popularity of the Song on Spotify and YouTube", it says. Rae is not part of the lawsuit.
The reason for her absence from the suit is awkwardly surmised in Carey and Golden's complaint, with the songwriters suggesting Rae's boyfriend, a marketing manager for Sony Music who was involved in promoting The Rest of Our Life in Australia, was aware of the similarities between the songs for more than two months before its release. The suit seeks a permanent injunction to block the use of the song, $5 million in damages, as well as profits, royalties, and attorney fees.
The lawsuit claims Holland, who was in close contact with Sony's country music wing in America, spruiked Rae's song in the hopes of promoting her work within the label.
An alternative theory of access is also provided in the complaint in that Sheeran was allegedly touring extensively in Australia when "When I Found You" was enjoying its biggest success on local airwaves. Sony, which represents McGraw and Hill, did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Both songs are said to explore themes of marriage, the passage of time, aging and the way that the romantic relationship protects the speaker against vulnerability.