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Pop Stars Settle Infringement Claims for 2017 Hit Song

Elizabeth DiNardo, Esq. | Associate Counsel

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On November 8, 2018, Australian songwriters Sean Carey and Beau Golden filed proposed settlement documents with the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, bringing an end to copyright infringement claims between the plaintiffs and well-known music super stars Faith Hill, Tim McGraw and Ed Sheeran.

The suit was filed in January 2018, by Carey and Golden, claiming that the defendants made a blatant note-for-note copy of a song written in 2014 by plaintiffs titled “When I Found You.” In court documents the plaintiffs allege that the song “The Rest of Our Life”—performed by McGraw and Hill, co-written by Sheeran and featured as the title track to their 2017 album, is a willful, knowing and malicious infringement of “When I Found You.” It is further alleged that the songs are so materially similar that the average listener would find it implausible that the 2017 version was written without the influence of “When I Found You.”

Details of the settlement have not been disclosed; however, the parties have been in talks to settle the suit since July 2018. The plaintiffs are represented by veteran copyright attorney Richard Busch, who also represented the estate of Marvin Gaye in the infringement suit against Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams over their song “Blurred Lines.”

The case is: Carey et al. v. Sheeran et al., Case No.: 1:18-cv-00214, at the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.

 


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