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Ed Sheeran’s lawyers request dismissal of plagiarism lawsuit

Ed Sheeran’s lawyers have asked a California judge to dismiss the $20 million (£16.2 million) lawsuit over his hit song Photograph.
Songwriters Martin Harrington and Thomas Leonard, and bosses at their publishing company HaloSongs, allege the star copied their 2009 single Amazing, which became a 2010 hit for Matt Cardle, the winner of U.K. talent show The X Factor. Co-writer Johnny McDaid and executives at Sony/ATV Songs and Warner Music are also named in the suit, according to Billboard.com.
In response to the complaint, which claims the chorus of Photograph shares 39 identical notes with their track, the defendants complained on Friday (07Oct16) about the “sprawling” nature of the 44-page lawsuit, and asked the judge to consider two motions to dismiss.
In court papers obtained by The Hollywood Reporter, Sheeran’s lawyers Michael Niborski and Ilene Farkas at Pryor Cashman argue the complaint makes “repetitive, argumentative and scandalous allegations” without any facts to support the claims.
The lawyers for Sheeran, Sony, Warner and the other defendants have now brought two motions to dismiss the suit citing its “improper pleading” and “jurisdictional failures”.
Niborski and Farkas contend Harrington and Leonard’s assertions are “unsupported by a single fact” and “provide no good faith basis to allege contacts between these U.K. companies and California.”
The songwriters are represented by Richard Busch, the attorney who represented the Marvin Gaye family in a successful copyright suit against the hit Blurred Lines.
Photograph, the fifth single from Sheeran’s 2014 album x (pronounced multiply), has sold more than 3.5 million copies worldwide.
Sheeran is also being sued by the heirs of Gaye’s Let’s Get It On songwriting partner Ed Townsend for allegedly ripping off the melody, harmony and rhythm compositions from the 1973 hit for his tune Thinking Out Loud.

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