Complaining Works

Defending Works

Daniel Auerbach and Patrick Carney

"Lonely Boy"

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Daniel Auerbach and Patrick Carney

 

"Gold on the Ceiling"

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Advertisement for Home Depot

 

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Advertisement for Pizza Hut

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Comment

Grammy-Award winning members of the band, the Black Keys, sued Home Depot and Pizza Hut for sampling songs off the Black Keys’ album, El Camino, in their television advertisements. The Black Keys, along with its producer, claim that in May 2012, Home Depot and Pizza Hut began airing television ads featuring the Black Keys’ songs “Gold on the Ceiling” and “Lonely Boy.” From a casual hearing, this writer found that the Pizza Hut ad (pushing its brand-new Cheesy Bites crust), does seem mildly similar to “Gold on the Ceiling.” While the melody does appear to have certain correlations, the music used in the Pizza Hut ads appear more synethetic than the Black Keys composition.

Plaintiffs further claim that the Home Depot ad infringed their song, “Lonely Boy” in promotions for Ryobi brand power tools.

The Black Keys claim beneficial ownership of the two songs, and contend that they never authorized Home Depot or Pizza Hut to use the songs in their ads.

The complaints, both filed in June 2012, link to YouTube videos of the advertisements. Unsurprisingly, both YouTube clips have been removed from the web, perhaps by the defendants.

The Black Keys is seeking injunctions to cease the running of the advertisements and unspecified monetary damages that plaintiffs claim to have resulted from defendants unauthorized use of their copyrighted work. Attorneys for Home Depot and Pizza have denied that their ads use music by the Black Keys.

By Ahsan Alvi

(1) Against Home Depot, et al.

(2) Against Pizza Hut, et al.

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