Two Australian songwriters have filed a complaint against songwriter Ed Sheeran and country music's powerhouse couple Tim McGraw and Faith Hill, alleging that the pair's recent song "The Rest of Our Life," co-penned by Sheeran, is "blatant copying" of their own 2014 song, titled "When I Found You."
According to the Hollywood Reporter, songwriters Sean Carey and Beau Golden assert in their complaint, filed Wednesday, January 10th, that, "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 plaintiffs are represented by Nashville-based attorney Richard Busch, who successfully won a trial for the family of Marvin Gaye in the 2015 "Blurred Lines" lawsuit – which initially resulted in $7.5 million judgment in favor of Gaye's family. Busch also took on Sheeran in a $20 million copyright case over another hit, "Photograph." A settlement in that case was reached, with the songwriters being added to the song's credits while also gaining a significant share of royalties from the tune.
Also key to these new allegations is the assertion by the plaintiffs that Sony Music Entertainment – the parent label of Arista Nashville, which released McGraw and Hill's first-ever collaborative LP last November – was aware of the copying of Carey and Golden's song. "It very well may have been an agent of Sony Music Entertainment who provided the other defendants herein with access to the Song," the complaint states.
In addition to Hill and McGraw, Sheeran's "The Rest of Our Life" co-writers Johnny McDaid and Amy Wadge, along with music publishers Sony/ATV, Universal Polygram, WB Music and others are named in the lawsuit. Plaintiffs Carey and Golden are seeking injunctive relief and at least $5 million in actual damages plus profits, in addition to a running royalty and an award of attorney's fees and costs.