News
News Home
Quick Bites
Exploradio
News Archive
News Channel
Special Features
NPR
nowplaying
On AirNewsClassical
Loading...
  
School Closings
WKSU Support
Funding for WKSU is made possible in part through support from the following businesses and organizations.

Lehmans

Cedar Point

Don Drumm Studios


For more information on how your company or organization can support WKSU, download the WKSU Media Kit.

(WKSU Media Kit PDF icon )


Donate Your Vehicle to WKSU

Programs Schedule Make A Pledge Member BenefitsFAQ/HelpContact Us
Economy and Business


Black Keys settle with Pizza Hut and Home Depot
Many bands feet music is being used without permission
by WKSU's MARK URYCKI


Senior Reporter
Mark Urycki
 
Download (WKSU Only)
In The Region:
The rock band The Black Keys has settled a lawsuit out of court against Pizza Hut and Home Depot. The Grammy-award winning band,  that started in Akron, and their producer  Brian Burton had claimed the two companies illegally used their songs or sound-alike songs in TV commercials.   WKSU’s Mark Urycki has details
Audio examples

Other options:
Windows Media / MP3 Download (4:19)


The odd thing about the Black Keys case is that the duo of Patrick Carney and Dan Auerbach is a prime example of how to find success through TV commercials.  Look to  the ads for the Nissan Xterra  during the 2006 Olympics using their song “Set You  Free.”   And last Spring the NCAA promoted March Madness with a film that was half basketball highlights and half Black Keys concert.  The song was “Gold on the Ceiling.”

Bands can not only gain attention from millions of TV viewers, they also get a nice payday from the ad agency that uses their songs.   But the Keys argued Home Depot was using “Gold on the Ceiling” without paying for the licensing rights.  And that Pizza Hut was using their song “Lonely Boy”  - or at least a reasonable facsimile of it. 

Both “Lonely Boy” and “Gold on the Ceiling” come from the Black Keys El Camino album, which is one of the top 20 highest selling albums of the year.  Pizza Hut and Home Depot,  both owned by parent company Yum Brands,  had denied any copyright infringement.   But a company need not use the actual audio of a band to get into trouble.  In 1988 a federal appeals court in California ruled that Ford was wrong to imitate the voice of Bette Midler. 

 The court wrote “when a distinctive voice of a professional singer is widely known and is deliberately imitated in order to sell a product, the sellers have appropriated what is not theirs.”   Here was that commercial using what viewers probably thought was Bette Midler.

And four years later the same court ordered Frito-Lay to pay two million dollars to Tom Waits for imitating his voice from, of all songs,  "Step Right Up" which has the line "Don't be fooled by cheap imitations." 

In both the case of Midler and Waits, the two companies had tried to buy the rights to their songs but the artists had refused.  But that practice continues. Volkswagen’s ad agency in Europe approached the indie-rock duo known as Beach House to use their song “Take Care” in a commercial showing a man and his daughter through the years.   It seemed a good fit.  But the band decided not to sell.   So the commercial ran with a different, but similar sounding song. 

Fans of Beach House were angered but the band members wrote on their Facebook page “..anger should not be directed towards VW or us. It was the ad agency that made these moves.”   

Details of the settlement between the Black Keys and Pizza Hut and Home Depot has not yet been released. 

Weird connections

Patrick Carney's uncle Ralph Carney was a longtime horn player in Tom Waits' band.  
Nissan is now running an ad in Europe for its Qashqai SUV by another Akron band.  It uses the 1979 song "Human Fly" by the Cramps.  
No one remembers any TV ad song for the El Camino and that's an El Camino on the Black Keys' album cover.   

Add Your Comment
Name:

Location:

E-mail: (not published, only used to contact you about your comment)


Comments:




 
Page Options

Print this page

E-Mail this page / Send mp3

Share on Facebook




Stories with Recent Comments

Cleveland Orchestra heads home from Europe
So proud to be a lifetime Clevelander! Yes, our Orchestra is the best ambassador a city could hope for! My wife and I happened to hear the European Festival T...

Northeast Ohio undocumented immigrants praying for a miracle
Stop it, just stop it. They are not undocumented but illegal aliens. I live in a 'sanctuary' city and it's not pretty. Dahlberg is a notorious trouble maker in ...

Ohio survey shows low-income people are choosing phones over food
Where is this study published? no sign of it on google scholar. is there a cite

The Akron Sound rocks the porches
fabulous group interview! you covered so much in so little time. wish i could be there for porch rockr.

Head of Ohio Dems says Kasich administration is lying about Suarez contacts
when Kasich's mouth is open , he's lying. Look what he did at Lehmans brothers and then lied about it all during the campaign. If a GOP didn't lie, he or she ...

Canton's Basilica of St. John absorbs news of the pope at morning Mass
Hello Chris,Marina,and Patrice, I just read this article and you all look great. I'm on facebook Jean Dutcher in blue and white stripped blouse. I"M so glad to ...

Exploradio: Avoiding the 'acting-white' trap
Growing-up black and being black should not determine that you will not speak well or will not be a high achiever in your goals in life.But society te nds to la...

Charter-school supporters to rally at Statehouse
I am on the bus now headed to the rally. Horizon is an excellent school. My son is is 7 th grade. The teachers and administrators are top notch and spend so m...

Former Nursing Home Land Added to Parks
In addition, LED technology also plays a very important role in advertising- LED placard is very, very useful for shop owners.

Ohio Supreme Court hears arguments on school funding
That's not true. Other school districts HAVE followed this law and done this. Oakhills is one of them and how they were able to provide technology for their s...

Copyright © 2014 WKSU Public Radio, All Rights Reserved.

 
In Partnership With:

NPR PRI Kent State University

listen in windows media format listen in realplayer format Car Talk Hosts: Tom & Ray Magliozzi Fresh Air Host: Terry Gross A Service of Kent State University 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. NPR Senior Correspondent: Noah Adams Living on Earth Host: Steve Curwood 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. A Service of Kent State University