The lawsuit, launched in the United States by ex-Thirsty Merc guitarist Sean Carey and keyboardist-producer Beau Golden, accuses McGraw and Hill's song "The Rest Of Our Life" (which was co-written by Sheeran) of ripping off Australian artist Jasmine Rae's song "When I Found You", which was co-written by Carey and Golden.
Australian singer Jasmine Rae released When I Found You under her name in 2015, and it was the most played song on Australian country radio, according to the complaint, filed in the US District Court in NY.
"The copying is, in many instances, verbatim, note-for-note copying of important and original elements of the song, and is obvious to the ordinary observer", claimed the pair, adding that the allegedly infringing song was "almost a note for note copy" of theirs. "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 three Australians discovered the similarities between the songs in December, when a fan tweeted Rae asking if she had heard the new song by McGraw and Hill "because it "sounds remarkably like When I Found You". The song's co-writers, Sean Carey and Beau Golden, are the plaintiffs. The song was released by Arista Nashville, a division of Sony Music, which was also named in the lawsuit. Rae is not part of the lawsuit.
Carey and Golden are being represented by attorney Richard Busch, who previously won an infamous copyright suit on behalf of Marvin Gaye's family against Robin Thicke and Pharrell's Blurred Lines, and led a $US20 million suit against Sheeran's Photograph which was settled out of court.
Among a long list of defendants in the case are Sheeran, McGraw and Hill themselves, plus McDaid and Wadge, Sony Music, Sony/ATV and Universal Music Publishing. It is alleged that Rae's boyfriend, Tim Holland, a marketing manager at Sony Music Australia, admitted to being aware of the similarities before the McGraw/Hill duet was released.
The plaintiffs are seeking at least $5 million in damages, injunctive relief, and royalties if injunctive relief is not appropriate. Sony Music declined comment. We had a night out in NY, got back to his hotel to drink more, and he played "Atlantic City".