Beastie’s Girls spat goes legal

COPYRIGHT Recorded music, music publishing, advertising   CMU Daily reports that the  dispute between the Beastie Boys and American toy company GoldieBlox over the latter’s use of a rework the former’s track ‘Girls’ in an advert isn’t going away, even though the toy maker swapped in an alternative piece of music on the ad and issued a positive statement professing admiration for the band. Whilst the surviving members of the Beastie Boys Michael Diamond and Adam Horovitz issued an open letter said they respected GoldieBlox’s mission to make toys for young girls that break down gender stereotypes, they added, they had previously made a conscious decision to not license their tracks for use in advertising, so much so that the third Beastie Boy, the late Adam Yauch, stated that desire in his will. Before the Beastie Boys’ open letter, GoldieBlox had issued a pre-emptive legal strike anticipating the band’s claim seeking court confirmation that, because their version of ‘Girls’ mocked the sexist lyrics of the original, that constituted parody, and therefore the toy firm was allowed to use the track without permission under the doctrine of “fair use”.  Interestingly it seems GoldieBlox had posted similar adverts online before, including music…

Eminem vs Audi: Audi’s ad “imported from Detroit”
Advertising , Copyright / July 2011

COPYRIGHT Advertising From Brigit Clark at the IPKat comes the news that US rapper Eminem is suing German car manufacturer Audi for allegedly using parts of Eminem’s song “Lose Yourself” in an ad for the Audi A6 Avant car without the singer’s permission. A spokesperson for Audi is quoted by German media as having said that the spot was only used “once” at the car’s recent launch party in Berlin. Obviously this was once too often for Eminem’s taste. The spot in dispute is available on YouTube and you can have a look and listen by clicking here. What appears to make the situation slightly more awkward for Audi is that a rather similar spot for US car maker Chrysler using “Lose Yourself” (with Eminem’s permission) was recently shown during US the Super Bowl event. This ad is also available via YouTube and you can retrieve it by clicking here. German website today cites a spokesperson for the Regional Court of Hamburg (Landgericht Hamburg) who confirmed that a law suit has been filed by Eminem’s publisher’s Eight Mile Style (case reference 310 O 185/11). US website cites a spokesperson for Eight Mile Style who reportedly said that Audi’s spot…

Holy Fuck – shock horror – Holy Fuck’s name might offend!
Advertising , Live Events / May 2011

ADVERTISING Live events industry The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA, and twice mentioned this month!) have ruled that live events promoter Kilimanjaro cannot run adverts for Holy Fuck tours in mainstream newspapers that contain the band’s name. The ASA received a complaint about an advert for the Holy Fuck tour after it appeared in the Guardian Guide which argued that “the ad was offensive and inappropriate for use in a supplement that was likely to be seen by children”.  Kilimanjaro apologised for any offence caused to the complainant, but made it clear that as the band’s name was Holy Fuck it was used on lots of other advertising literature without complaint and, indeed, the word fuck itself is used in mainstream press (indeed at the time of writing, on national TV courtesy of Wayne Rooney). However the ASA upheld the complaint saying that whilst it noted “that the Guide was targeted at older teens and adults” that “we considered that, because it was placed in an entertainment listings supplement to a national newspaper, the ad was likely to be seen by a wide variety of readers including children. We considered, in that context, that the name Holy Fuck was likely to…

Republicans settle with Browne
Advertising , Artists , Copyright / August 2009

COPYRIGHT Artists, advertising Singer songwriter Jackson Browne has accepted an apology and a financial settlement from Republican presidential candidate John McCain after Browne’s “Running On Empty” was used in the US presidential campaign. Browne had been seeking damages of $75,000 after his song was used without permission in an online advert that sought to undermine Barrack Obama’s suggestion that having properly inflated tyres would result in lower fuel consumption in cars. McCain said in a statement: “We apologise that a portion of the Jackson Browne song ‘Running On Empty’ was used without permission”. In response, Browne, a staunch Democrat, said “this settlement is really a great affirmation of what I believed my rights to be, and all writers’ rights to be. One would hope that a presidential candidate would not only know the law but respect it. It was a matter of bringing that issue to bear”. A number of other artists including Foo Fighters, Heart and John Mellencamp have complained about having their songs used without permission during McCain’s campaign although action will not lie where songs are merely used at rallies at properly licensed theatres and other venues.