The Black Keys have launched copyright infringement lawsuits against Home Depot and Pizza Hut. according to the Associated Press. The duo filed federal lawsuits late last week against both corporations, claiming that Home Depot did not have permission to use elements of their song "Lonely Boy" in an ad for power tools, while also alleging that Pizza Hut misused their latest single, "Gold On The Ceiling," in a recent commercial.
- Both tracks appear on the band's latest and most successful album, 2011's El Camino.
- While the Black Keys have sold their songs for use in a number of ads, movie trailers and TV spots, frontman Dan Auerbach told us that the duo don't accept every offer that comes their way: "I mean, we still say no to certain companies, you know. If a company sucks, we'll say no to it. But for the most part, we allow companies and movies and stuff like that to use our music. We only feel like we benefit from it."
- A band spokesperson said that "experts confirmed that this was copyright infringement." The cases seek unspecified damages of more than $75,000 apiece and an order preventing the continued use of the songs in the commercials.
- Spokespersons for Home Depot and Pizza hut said that the companies had not seen the lawsuits yet, but that both respected intellectual property rights. Spokesperson for the agencies that created the ads had no comment.
- The Black Keys will play the inaugural Firefly Festival in Dover, Delaware from July 20th to the 22nd, followed by the Catalpa Festival in New York on July 28th, Lollapalooza on August 3rd and a handful of Canadian dates before heading to Europe.
WHAT DO YOU THINK??
- Do you think this is just an honest mistake by both companies, or did someone screw up and/or think they could get away with using music without permission?
- Is this the result of the Black Keys licensing their music to many other companies? Perhaps companies now think the band's music is there for the taking or that it can be slightly tweaked to sound different?
- What is your stance on ads using rock songs? Is it a "sell-out" or a good way for a young band to make money?
INTERNET COMMENTS at Entertainment Weekly and the New York Times -- agree or not?
Cray wrote: "There are several TV shows and commercials that steal the song, 'No One Knows,' by Queens of the Stone Age, but is recorded in a slightly different key and played by other musicians without lyrics. Its sad how close they can rip off a song these days and it is still not 'technically' the same song."
Jennifer wrote: "There's apparently some debate about whether or not that actually is Gold On The Ceiling in the Pizza Hut commercial. I guess we'll see."
tyb stuck in cali wrote: "Like the average person sitting on their couch sees a Pizza Hut commercial and instantly thinks of the Black Keys? Yeah, right..."
Mick wrote: "Now David Bowie and The Violent Femmes should sue the Black Keys over those songs."
The Black Keys' Dan Auerbach On Whether To Let Songs Be Used In Ads
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