Musical group The Black Keys isn't too happy with the background music used for two recent commercials, one for Pizza Hut and the other for The Home Depot. The Black Keys think the chosen songs sound too much like the band's singles "Gold on the Ceiling" and "Lonely Boy," respectively, and so its members sued the two companies in June on copyright infringement grounds.
However, both companies recently filed separate responses to the complaints in Los Angeles, effectively denying The Black Keys' claims and asking that the band be made to pay for their attorneys' fees, since the lawsuit should never have been brought in the first place as it is without merit.
Neither Pizza Hut nor Home Depot representatives have commented publicly on the denials. Nor have the Black Keys.
In instances like this, it can be difficult to tell whether there really is copyright infringement. Absent a smoking gun, like an email uncovered in discovery that says "Let's use The Black Keys' song but not pay a license fee," proving copyright infringement often takes skillful representation, careful selection of expert witnesses and a thorough and complete command of the facts.
To find an attorney who meets those qualifications, you will need to do some research. Most people would agree it's a good idea to look into attorneys in your area who practice intellectual property law and think about which would be the best fit for you. If you are interested in learning more about the way we approach intellectual property matters of this nature, you will find relevant information on the Copyright page of our website.
Source: MTV, "Black Keys Copyright Claims Denied By Pizza Hut, Home Depot," James Montgomery, Aug. 17, 2012