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.

Greater Akron Chamber

Area Agency on Aging 10B, Inc.

Lehmans


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

FitzGerald isn't giving up, but many Stark voters are worried, wary and weary
SB5 stands for "Snow Ball 5" because voters have about a snow ball's chance of remembering what it was.

Columbus groups are trying to pass a Bill of Rights to combat fracking
Its about time we make a stand against the criminal actions of an entire Indsutry.

Crystal Ball says Ohio governor's race is done
How much is the Kasich campaign paying you to keep repeating the phrase "woman who is not his wife"? Fitzgerald was in the car with a friend who happens to be f...

Plane that crashed killing Case students is a popular training aircraft
The following is incorrect. The last few words should read "UNDER maximum gross take-off weight." “They have a normal take-off speed and all those take-off...

Exploradio: The never-ending war against superbugs
Super Federico ,we are so proud of you ,and very lucky to be among your friends . Keep it up human kind needs people like you to survive .Thanks for being so d...

Ohio's Lyme disease-carrying tick population is exploding
Interesting report. The last sentence needs some editing. It isn't a good idea to "save garments carrying ticks for analysis." The garments carrying t...

Teach for America enters third year in Ohio
For more background on TFA, check out http://reconsideringtfa.wordpress.com/

Faith leaders hold week-long prayer vigil at Ohio Statehouse
I think this is the wrong link to the audio. Its Andy Chow about cigarette taxes.

A $30 million plan to turn Cleveland's Public Square from gray to green
The current plan is for the Land Bank, RTA, and Mr. Jeremy Paris to run a bus line through the new Public Square and cutting the park in half. Save Public Squar...

Medina County residents question safety of proposed natural gas pipeline
I'm very concerned about this nexus project. I've received mail requesting my permission to allow the company to survey my property. I don't understand how thi...

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