Tim McGraw, Faith Hill Face Copyright Lawsuit Over ‘The Rest of Our Life’
Tim McGraw and Faith Hill, along with pop star Ed Sheeran, have been hit with a copyright lawsuit over their song "The Rest of Our Life." Two Australian songwriters claim that the song -- written by Sheeran, Amy Wadge, Johnny McDaid and Steve Mac and recently released by McGraw and Hill -- is "blatant copying" of a song they released in 2014.
Sean Carey and Beau Golden filed their lawsuit in New York federal court on Wednesday (Jan. 10), the Hollywood Reporter reports. In the complaint, the two allege that "The Rest of Our Life" is a copy of their song "When I Found You," which was released by Jasmine Rae on ABC Records and became a hit in Australia. Their suit names McGraw, Hill, Sheeran, McDaid, Wadge and Mac, as well as Sony / ATV, Universal Polygram, WB Music and more, and alleges that Sony employees knew about the copying.
"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 lawsuit reads. "It very well may have been an agent of Sony Music Entertainment who provided the other defendants herein with access to the Song."
According to the lawsuit, Rae and Golden were writing with Carey in December when, after Rae mentioned a fan's tweet about McGraw and Hill's song, they listened to "The Rest of Our Life" and decided to file their suit. Rae wanted to get her boyfriend, Tim Holland, a marketing manager for Sony, involved -- but, allegedly, when the three approached him about the potential lawsuit, "Mr. Holland admitted to knowing about the Infringing Song months in advance of its release because he was tasked with promoting and marketing the Infringing Song and Infringing Sound Recording before its release."
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"When questioned by Plaintiffs as to his silence about the similarities between "When I Found You" and the Infringing Song/Infringing Sound Recording, Mr. Holland stated he did not want to lose his job with Sony Music," the lawsuit explains. "When pressed further by Plaintiffs, Mr. Holland indicated that he had known that the songs were substantially similar for more than two months prior to the October 5, 2017, release date of the Infringing Song/Infringing Sound Recording."
In the suit, Carey and Golden share their beliefs that Holland was not only aware of the copying, but "instrumental" in sharing "When I Found You" with the defendants. Rae is not part of the lawsuit.
"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 lawsuit reads. "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."
If Holland was not the one to share "When I Found You" with the defendants, the lawsuit suggests that Sheeran heard the song while on tour in Australia when the song was popular.
Carey and Golden are being represented by Richard Busch, a Nashville-based lawyer who represented Marvin Gaye's family in a lawsuit over the pop hit "Blurred Lines" and previously helped sue Sheeran for copyright infringement in relation to his song "Photograph." The two songwriters are seeking an injunction, at least $5 million in damages, royalties moving forward and attorney fees.
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