Ed Sheeran has been slapped with yet another copyright lawsuit, this time by two Australians who allege the British superstar was complicit in copying elements of a local artist’s tune for an American country music smash.

Songwriters Sean Carey, an ex-Thirsty Merc guitarist, and Beau Golden, allege the 2017  Tim McGraw and Faith Hill duet The Rest Of Our Life is damn near identical to 2015’s When I Found You, a song they co-wrote with rising Aussie country star Jasmine Rae.

“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,” claims the lawsuit.

Sheeran, who is listed as a co-writer of The Rest Of Our Life, joins Sony Music Entertainment and several others named as defendants in the legal action. The defendants are seeking over $6 million in damages, and continuing royalties on newer song.

It only gets wilder from there.

Carey and Golden allege Rae’s boyfriend Tim Holland, a marketing manager for Sony, was the person who introduced Rae’s song to the label and knew about the alleged similarities between the songs months before The Rest Of Our Life was released.

“Indeed, it strains credibility to believe that it is just a coincidence that the Infringing Song/Infringing Sound Recording, a blatant note for note copy of the Song, was created without Mr. Holland’s providing access, when Mr. Holland is the boyfriend of one of the writers of the Song,” the legal filing says.

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. It’s alleged that from there, other people within Sony provided the defendants – including Sheeran – with access to Rae’s song.

Carey and Golden also provide a second potential explanation for the supposed similarities: they state Sheeran was touring Australia at the peak of When I Found You‘s popularity and radio airplay.

The legal filing states that although Rae originally planned to take part in the suit, she pulled out after expressing concerns for Holland’s continued employment within Sony.

It’s not the first time Sheeran has been named in a high-profile copyright lawsuit. The descendants of a co-writer of Marvin Gaye’s Let’s Get It On sued Sheeran in 2016 for allegedly using its elements in Thinking Out Loud. 

While we wait to see how this one shakes out, listen to both tunes below:

Source: The Hollywood Reporter
Image: Roy Rochlin / Getty