Monday, June 25, 2012

The Black Keys Sue for Copyright Infringement

Story first appeared in The Associated Press.

The Black Keys are not shilling power tools or pizza, the band said in copyright infringement lawsuits against The Home Depot and Pizza Hut.

The "Lonely Boy" band filed the federal lawsuits Thursday, claiming Home Depot did not have permission to use elements of the hit song in an ad promoting power tools and that Pizza Hut misused "Gold on the Ceiling" in a recent ad.

Both songs appeared on the rock group's seventh album, "El Camino," which was released last year and has sold nearly 840,000 copies. Musician-producer known as Danger Mouse, is also suing the companies.

The experts confirmed that this was copyright infringement, according to San Diego Copyrights Lawyers.

The cases seek unspecified damages of more than $75,000 apiece and an order preventing the continued use of the songs in the commercials.

A spokesman for Home Depot said that they haven't seen the complaint yet, but respect for intellectual property rights is a matter we take very seriously.

A Pizza Hut spokesman said the company also hasn't seen the case, but fully respects artists' rights. He directed inquiries to the ad's creators, The Martin Agency and The Interpublic Group of Companies.

A Martin Agency spokesman said the company doesn't respond to pending lawsuits, and a spokesman for the Interpublic Group of Companies was not immediately available.

The suits claim both companies were given written notices that the ads misused The Black Keys' music. The Home Depot ad touts Ryobi power tools, while the Pizza Hut ad touts its new "Cheesy Bites Pizza."

New York Copyrights lawyers stated that neither company received permission to use musical elements from the songs. The ads do not include any vocals.

"Lonely Boy" and "Gold on the Ceiling" both topped the Billboard alternative music chart after their release.

The Black Keys won two Grammy Awards in 2010 for music from their album "Brothers," which won the Best Alternative Music Album award that year.

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