Ed Sheeran, Tim McGraw, Faith Hill settle copyright lawsuit

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Ed Sheeran, Tim McGraw and Faith Hill have settled a copyright lawsuit claiming that their song “The Rest of Our Life” was a “blatant” rip-off of a song by two Australian songwriters, titled “When I Found You.”

Slideshow ( 2 images )

A lawyer for the songwriters Sean Carey and Beau Golden said all parties have agreed in principle to settle the case, and have it dismissed in 30 days if all “final issues” are resolved.

The settlement was disclosed in a letter filed on Thursday night with the U.S. District Court in Manhattan.

Sheeran, the English singer and songwriter, had co-written “The Rest of Our Life” for McGraw and Hill, the married U.S. country music stars.

The song was released in 2017, two years after “When I Found You,” which was performed and co-written by Australian country star Jasmine Rae.

Sony Music Entertainment, which released “The Rest of Our Life” through its Arista Nashville label, and Sheeran’s publisher Sony/ATV Songs were among several other defendants.

The lawsuit sought more than $5 million in damages.

Lawyers for the defendants did not immediately respond on Friday to requests for comment. The plaintiffs’ lawyer did not immediately respond to similar requests.

Sheeran has faced multiple copyright lawsuits, including over his songs “Thinking Out Loud,” “Shape of You” and “Photograph.”

Carey and Golden had contended that “The Rest of Our Life” was “almost a note for note copy” of “When I Found You.”

They sued in January, one month after Rae told them a fan had tweeted her, asking if she had heard McGraw’s and Hill’s song because it sounded “remarkably like” her own.

Rae was open to pursuing songwriting royalties but did not want to sue the couple or Sony, and was not a plaintiff, according to the complaint.

The case is Carey et al v Sheeran et al, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, No. 18-00214.

Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Susan Thomas