Ed Sheeran settles Photograph copyright infringement claim

Ed Sheeran has settled a $20m (£13.8m) copyright infringement claim against him in the US, over his hit song Photograph.

Songwriters Thomas Leonard and Martin Harrington sued the singer last June, claiming his hit ballad had a similar structure to their song, Amazing.

A lawyer for the pair confirmed to the BBC the claim had now been settled.

Leonard and Harrington's track was released by former X Factor winner Matt Cardle in 2012.

Instantly recognisable

On Friday, court papers were lodged dismissing the case "with prejudice", stipulating that a California federal court would enforce the terms of an agreement.

Richard Busch, who represented Harrington and Leonard, would not comment on the settlement terms.

A spokeswoman for Sheeran's record company, Atlantic Records, told the BBC it did not comment on stories relating to copyright issues.

The songwriters originally claimed the chorus of the two songs shared 39 identical notes, with similarities "instantly recognisable to the ordinary observer".

They submitted the chord structures for both tracks in court documents.

https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/news/624/cpsprodpb/16208/production/_89923609_photograph.jpg

Mr Busch is the same lawyer who won a case for the family of the late soul singer Marvin Gaye.

He successfully sued Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams for copyright infringement last year over their single Blurred Lines, winning a $7.4m (£5.1m) settlement.

 

  • Published in Culture

George Michael portrait by Damien Hirst sells for $580,000

A portrait of the late George Michael by artist Damien Hirst has sold for just under half a million pounds at a charity auction.

The money raised from the sale of Beautiful Beautiful George Michael Love Painting will go to HIV/Aids charity The Goss-Michael Foundation.

The charity was founded by Michael and his former partner Kenny Goss.

Goss posted an image of the artwork on Instagram, writing: "Amazing result of $580,000 (around £461,011)."

He described Damien Hirst as a "superstar", adding: "Thank you Damien!"

The canvas went under the hammer in Dallas, Texas, at the MTV Re:define charity gala.

Michael, who enjoyed a lucrative pop career as one half of duo Wham before embarking on a successful solo career, died on Christmas Day last year at the age of 53.

  • Published in Culture

Sir Paul McCartney on Lennon, Kanye and his own musical legacy

Sir Paul McCartney's final album of the '80s, Flowers in the Dirt, is regarded as one of his best of the decade.

He teamed up with new musicians, new producers and a new songwriting partner in the form of Elvis Costello and it inspired his first world tour in 10 years.

Now, as the record is re-released, complete with previously unheard demos, Sir Paul speaks to BBC 6 Music's Matt Everitt about collaborating with Costello, Kanye West and Michael Jackson - but why he'll never work with anyone better than John Lennon.

Sir Paul also reveals he's working on a new album with Adele's producer, and what he thinks his musical legacy will be.

Do you learn something from every person that you collaborate with?

My thing with collaboration, I know I can never have a better collaborator than John. That is just a fact. So I don't try and escape it. I just know there's no way I can find someone now who's going to write better stuff with me than I wrote with John. But having said that, I'm interested in working with other people because they bring their own particular thing to it.

If you're thinking of someone like Stevie (Wonder), he works by just making something up on his keyboards. You invite him to dinner, he shows up 10 hours later because he was fiddling around on his keyboard. He's such a musical monster and such a genius, that's what you learn from him.

Michael Jackson, we just sat upstairs in this office and I tinkled on the piano and we just made up a song there. Now with Kanye, I had no idea what was going to happen because I knew it wasn't going to be two acoustic guitars opposite each other. So I thought, 'Well, here goes nothing'.

The one provision I said to everyone, I said, 'Look, if I feel this doesn't work out, then we just won't tell anyone. Kanye who? I didn't work with him!'.

http://ichef-1.bbci.co.uk/news/624/cpsprodpb/0530/production/_95282310_maccakanye_getty.jpgKanye West, Rihanna and Sir Paul collaborated on 2015's FourFiveSeconds / Getty Images

I just was myself and I told Kanye various stories that had inspired me musically. One of them was how the song Let It Be arrived, which was through a dream I'd had in which I'd seen my mother, who had died 10 years previously.

But I was so inspired by that that I wrote the song. I told Kanye that, because he'd lost his mother. So then he wrote a song called Only One when I was just noodling around on the electronic piano. So he got the melody, I put the chords in and the style and that's how it happened.

Did you go into Flowers In The Dirt feeling like it was kind of a bit of a reset?

I think so. I'm just bringing up my family, and then a point will arrive where I just think, 'OK, I've got some songs. I should get busy, I should record these. We should go out on tour. It's time'.

And that's what happened round about that time. It was suggested to me that I work with Elvis Costello as a partnership and it seemed like a good idea. I thought, 'Well, he's from Liverpool, he's good' - which helps - and we have a lot of things in common and so I thought, 'Well that could work'.

http://ichef-1.bbci.co.uk/news/624/cpsprodpb/13C50/production/_95267908_maccaelvis.jpgSir Paul said he worked with Elvis Costello in a similar way to how he had worked with John Lennon

Was it writing nose-to-nose? Two acoustics, strumming at each other?

There's a million ways to write, but the way I always used to write was with John and it would be across from each other, either in a hotel bedroom on the twin beds, with an acoustic guitar and we're just looking at each other. He'd make up something, I'd make up something and we'd just spin off each other. The nice thing for me is seeing John there, him being right-handed, me being left-handed, it felt to me like I was looking in a mirror.

Obviously, it was very successful. So that was a way I had learned to write and it was the way I liked to write and Elvis was very happy to work like that. So it was like a repeat of that process, and so he was John, basically, and I was Paul.

I have to ask you about Chuck Berry. Obviously a massive musical hero of yours. What was he like? Did you work with him much?

I didn't work with Chuck. I met him. He came to one of our concerts when we were playing in St. Louis, his home town, and he came round backstage. It was great to meet him and just be able to tell him what a fan I was.

When I think back to being in Liverpool pre-Beatles, when we were all just kids learning the guitar with the dreams of the future, we suddenly heard this little thing, Sweet Little Sixteen. We never heard anything like that, and then when Johnny B. Goode came along, all of his fantastic songs, Maybellene. All these songs about cars, teenagers, rock 'n roll music, was just so thrilling.

Looking at the wave of tributes that followed Chuck Berry's death, do you ever wonder how are you going to be remembered?

I think you do and you put it out your mind. I don't get into it, really. I remember John once, saying to me, 'I wonder how I'll be remembered. Will they remember me well?'. And I had to reassure him. I said, 'Look at me. You are going to be so remembered, you've done so much great stuff'. But it was funny - you wouldn't think John would even have a remote bit of insecurity about it. But I think people do. Luckily, it won't matter because I won't be here.

On a more positive note, what's next?

I'm making a new album which is great fun. I'm working with a producer I first worked with two years ago on a piece of music I'm doing for an animated film. Since then, he went on to work with Beck and got album of the year with Beck. Then he went on to work with Adele and has just got song of the year, record of the year, with Adele, and just got producer of the year.

So my only worry is, people are going to go, 'Oh, there's Paul going with the flavour of the month'. But he's a great guy called Greg Kurstin and he's great to work with. So yeah, I'm at it. Beavering away, doing what I love to do. As Ringo says, 'It's what we do'.

To hear the whole of Matt Everitt's interview with Paul, listen back to the BBC 6 Music Breakfast Show, broadcast on Thursday morning.

 

 

  • Published in Culture

London attack: World leaders show solidarity

Leaders of countries affected by recent terror attacks have voiced solidarity with the UK after the deadly attack near the Houses of Parliament.

A lone attacker was shot dead after he used a car to run down pedestrians, killing two, and stabbed a police officer to death outside Parliament.

Leaders of France and Germany, which suffered deadly vehicle attacks last year, offered the UK their support.

The US president offered condolences and praised UK security forces.

There is a mixture of nationalities among the dead, police say, and 29 people have been treated in hospital, of whom seven are critically injured.

Among those injured by the car on Westminster Bridge are three French schoolchildren and two Romanians, while five South Koreans were hurt in the chaos that followed the attack.

In Paris, the lights of the Eiffel Tower went out from midnight (23:00 GMT) in a tribute to the victims.

President Francois Hollande expressed his "solidarity" with the British people, saying "terrorism concerns us all and France knows how the British people are suffering today".

http://ichef.bbci.co.uk/news/624/cpsprodpb/17C61/production/_95277379_mediaitem95277377.jpgEmergency response workers continued to work at the scene into the evening / EPA 

In July last year, a man drove a lorry into pedestrians in the southern French city of Nice, killing 84 people. The attack was claimed by the Islamic State (IS) group.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, whose country saw a lorry attack in December that killed 12 people in Berlin and was also claimed by IS, said her thoughts were "with our British friends and all of the people of London".

"I want to say for Germany and its citizens: We stand firmly and resolutely by Great Britain's side in the fight against all forms of terrorism," she added.

US President Donald Trump spoke by phone to British Prime Minister Theresa May to offer his condolences and to praise the effective response of UK security services.

Mr Trump pledged the "full co-operation and support" of the US government in bringing those responsible for the attack to justice, the White House said in a statement.

Belgium's prime minister sent a message of support as his country marked the first anniversary of the suicide bomb attacks on the Brussels airport and underground system, which killed 32 people.

"Our condolences are with those who mourn and all who are affected in London," Charles Michel tweeted. "Belgium stands with UK in fight against terror."

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said in a statement that the people of Brussels and Belgium had "suffered a similar pain and felt the support of your sympathy and solidarity".

"At this emotional time, we at the European Commission can only send that sympathy back twofold."

Russian President Vladimir Putin also sent condolences by telegram to Mrs May, expressing support for the bereaved and wounded.

"The forces of terror are acting more and more deviously and cynically. It is clear that, in order to counteract the terrorist threat, all members of the global community must combine forces," he said.

In other reaction:

  • Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in a statement that it was an "attack on democracies around the world" and Canadians stood "united with the British people in the fight against terrorism"
  • Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said it was an "attack on parliaments, freedom and democracy everywhere" and offered his support and solidarity to the British government
  • Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said he and Mr Turnbull had discussed the attack as they met in Canberra. "Together, we send our condolences to the prime minister of the UK and together we condemn terrorism and we stand against all forms of terrorism.''
  • Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said: "Horrible images from London. The very heart of the city has been struck. Our thoughts are with the British people."
  • Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy tweeted "solidarity with the victims", and sent a telegram to Mrs May offering condolences. "We must remain united against these type of threats that affect all of us equally and that know no barriers,'' he wrote.
  • Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan emphasised that "Turkey feels and shares deeply in the United Kingdom's pain" and that it stood in "solidarity" with Britain "in the fight against terrorism". It came just hours after his latest salvo in a fiery row with European allies, especially Germany and the Netherlands, over Turkish referendum campaigning in their countries. Mr Erdogan had warned that Europeans would not be able to walk safely on the world's streets if "Europe continues this way".

But not all international reaction was so reserved, with some right-wing politicians suggesting that controls on immigration - or even all Muslims - was the way forward. It has subsequently emerged that the attacker was born in Britain.

The leader of Australia's One Nation party, Pauline Hanson, announced her own personal hashtag..

"It's #Pray4Muslimban. Put a ban on it, that's how you solve the problem, and then let's deal with the issues here," she said.

"We've got real problems... make sure that we do not have this religion which is really an ideology that is going to eventually cause so much havoc on our streets, not only for ourselves, but for future generations."

In France, National Front leader Marine Le Pen, who is campaigning for the French presidency, said the London attack showed the need for borders to be protected.

She told French media that security measures needed enhancing amid a rising threat from "radicalised personalities who act alone without networks", and urged countries to co-operate with each other on sharing intelligence.

Poland's Prime Minister Beata Szydlo said the London attacks justified the country's policy of refusing to take in refugees.

"I hear in Europe very often: do not connect the migration policy with terrorism, but it is impossible not to connect them," she told private broadcaster TVN24.

  • Published in World

Police officer 'stabbed at UK Parliament'

A police officer has been stabbed in the Houses of Parliament in central London, Commons Leader David Lidington has said.

He told MPs the "alleged assailant was shot by armed police" following a "serious" incident.

Staff inside Parliament were told to stay inside their offices.

The BBC's Laura Kuenssberg said police told her someone had been shot and MPs said they heard "three or four gunshots".

Tom Peck, political editor for the Independent, tweeted: "There was a loud bang. Screams. Commotion. Then the sound of gunshots. Armed police everywhere."

Prime Minister Theresa May was seen being ushered into a silver Jaguar car as what sounded like gunfire rang out at Parliament during the incident.

A Downing Street source confirmed that Prime Minister Theresa May was "OK".

Scotland Yard said it was called to a firearms incident on Westminster Bridge amid reports of several people injured.

Transport for London said Westminster underground station has been shut at the police's request, and buses diverted.

Mr Lidington said: "It seems that a police officer has been stabbed, that the alleged assailant was shot by armed police.

"An air ambulance is currently attending the scene to remove the casualties.

"There are also reports of further violent incidents in the vicinity of the Palace of Westminster but I hope colleagues on all sides will appreciate that it'd be wrong of me to go into further details until we have confirmation from the police and from the House security authorities about what is going on."

An eye witness, Radoslaw Sikorski, a senior fellow at Harvard's Centre for European Studies, posted a video to Twitter purporting to show people lying injured in the road on Westminster Bridge.

He wrote: "A car on Westminster Bridge has just mowed down at least 5 people."

  • Published in World

Adele fans cheer proposal during Melbourne concert

Pop star Adele has helped a couple enjoy a memorable proposal in front of 77,000 fans at a concert in Australia.

Wade Nicholson-Doyle took his boyfriend, Chris, to the Melbourne show as a 40th birthday present.

When the singer selected the pair from the crowd, Mr Nicholson-Doyle dropped to one knee and proposed. A loud cheer went up around the stadium.

"Did you say yes?" Adele joked, before embracing the couple.

"I actually had no idea that was going to happen. Congratulations."

 

http://ichef-1.bbci.co.uk/news/624/cpsprodpb/ECBB/production/_95230606_gettyimages-654720070.jpg

Mr Nicholson-Doyle said he was momentarily unaware of the screaming crowd.

"It just kind of blacked out and all I could see was Chris and Adele standing there," he told the BBC.

"To share the stage with her, if only for five minutes, is really incredible. We're very much in her debt."

  • Published in Culture

George Michael died of natural causes

George Michael died as a result of heart and liver disease, a coroner has confirmed.

The pop star was suffering from dilated cardiomyopathy with myocarditis and fatty liver, according to Darren Salter, senior coroner for Oxfordshire.

The singer died aged 53 on Christmas Day at his home in Goring-on-Thames, Oxfordshire.

Because there was a "natural cause of death", the coroner said there was no need for an inquest.

Thames Valley Police originally said his death was unexplained but not suspicious and an initial post-mortem examination was "inconclusive".

George MichaelGeorge Michael's death came as a shock to his millions of fans / PA

On Tuesday, the coroner said in a statement: "Inquiries into the death of George Michael have been concluded and the final post-mortem report received.

"As there is a confirmed natural cause of death, being dilated cardiomyopathy with myocarditis and fatty liver, the investigation is being discontinued and there is no need for an inquest or any further enquiries.

"No further updates will be provided and the family requests the media and public respect their privacy."


By Michelle Roberts, BBC News online health editor

The medical terms used on death certificates outline the cause of death, but not all the risk factors that have led up to it.

George Michael's lists three conditions: dilated cardiomyopathy, myocarditis and fatty liver.

This means his heart was enlarged, weakened and inflamed. The muscle wasn't doing the job of pumping blood as well as it should have.

His liver was also abnormal, containing unhealthy collections of fat. There are many possible causes for this - heavy alcohol use is one.


At the weekend, the singer's former partner Kenny Goss was quoted as saying: "I think his body just gave up. All these years, it was just weak."

He told The Sunday Mirror: "We just want closure, we want the funeral to happen, it's been a long time now."

George Michael's home in GoringGeorge Michael was at home in Goring-on-Thames when he died on Boxing Day / Getty Images

George Michael tributesFans also left tributes outside Michael's London home after his death / AFP

Fadi Fawaz, the singer's partner at the time of his death, told the Telegraph in late December he had found the star "lying peacefully in bed".

After the cause of death was revealed on Tuesday, Fawaz responded to weeks of speculation by posting a photo of himself with Michael on Twitter along with the words: "The Truth is out..."

Following the coroner's statement, Thames Valley Police said it had closed its investigation into Michael's death.

"As the cause of death was natural, no further action is proposed or required," it said.

Michael made his name with pop group Wham! in the 1980s and went on to enjoy huge success as a solo performer.

  • Published in Culture

Adele confirms she is married to Simon Konecki

Adele has finally confirmed she has married Simon Konecki, after months of media speculation.

The singer was on stage in Brisbane, Australia, talking about her track Someone Like You, when she said, "I'm married now".

There had been rumours the pair had wed and Adele had also referred to him as her husband at the Grammy awards.

Adele and Simon have one child together, a four-year-old son named Angelo.

Video of Adele talking about being married has been shared on social media.

She was describing the moment she had played Someone Like You to close friends and family, when she referred to being married.

"I could see in their eyes as they were listening to it on their headphones that it reminded them of something or someone," she said.

"That's what I wanted to remember, how it was I felt at the beginning of the relationship that inspired that record.

"Because as bad as a break up can be, as bitter and horrible and messy as it can be, that feeling when you first fall for someone is the best feeling on earth, and I am addicted to that feeling.

"Obviously I can't go through with those feelings because I'm married now. I've found my next person."

Adele singing

Both she and Simon have been pictured wearing wedding bands at events in recent weeks.

Last month, Heat magazine suggested Adele had organised a small ceremony, with just "family and close friends" in attendance.

They claimed she and Simon married at their £10m home in Los Angeles without any "fuss".

 

  • Published in Culture
Subscribe to this RSS feed

Havana