The Associated Press reported on November 27, 2012, that a Grammy-winning band has settled copyright infringement lawsuits against Pizza Hut and The Home Depot. The Black Keys alleged misuse of its songs “Lonely Boy” in a Home Depot commercial for power tools and “Gold on the Ceiling” in a Pizza Hut advertisement. The terms of the settlements were not disclosed.
According to the AP, the band settled with Pizza Hut on November 26, while the settlement agreement with Home Depot was reached earlier this month. The band, consisting of Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney, sued the home-repair chain and the pizza business in June, and both companies denied copying the songs. According to the Hollywood Reporter, Auerbach and Carney “sought unspecified damages upward of $75,000 each as well as an order blocking the songs’ continued use in the ads, which included no vocals.” The same two companies had also been sued by Brian Burton, the musician known as “Danger Mouse,” according to the Reporter.
Los Angeles Times pop music critic Randall Roberts asked Carney about the band’s “wide-ranging commercial licenses,” and how the duo’s “successful sound has led to knock-off” commercial material. “It’s common, and the thing is, a lot of our friends … were getting requests from music supervisors asking for songs that sound like the Black Keys without the supervisors even knowing that they were in the band,” Carney told Roberts. “And [the friends] kept going off, because a lot of music supervisors that I’m friends with are like, ‘You’re the No. 1 requested band right now by advertising agencies to have sound-alikes.’”
Songs created and performed by musicians are a popular form of intellectual property protected by copyrights, and you can find more information about rights of publicity on our website. Los Angeles business litigation attorney Robert G. Klein has more than 25 years of experience helping companies register trademarks or copyrights. He can take action against businesses or individuals that knowingly or unknowingly misuse your material. Contact our firm at (323) 653-3900 or use the form on this page to have our Los Angeles trademark infringement attorneys review your case.
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