Black Keys Sue For Unauthorized Use Of "Howlin'" In Casino Ads

Carney et al. v. Chesky Records, Inc., No. 13-cv-0405 (S.D.N.Y. filed Jan. 17, 2013) (Batts, J.)

The Black Keys sued in New York federal court  "to put an immediate stop to, and to obtain redress for, Defendant's blatant and purposeful infringement of the copyright in Plaintiffs' musical composition entitled 'Howlin' For You'."  (Complaint, para. 1).  Defendants allegedly created and publicized commercial advertisements for casinos which prominently feature significant portions of the composition without authorization.  Plaintiffs' claims are for copyright infringement, false designation of origin (under section 43(a) of the Lanham Act), and common law unfair competition.

Black Keys Sue Over Song In Commercials

Daniel Auerbach et al. v. The Home Depot, Inc., No. 2:12-cv-05386 (C.D. Cal. filed 06/21/12) [Doc.1]

The Black Keys sued the Home Depot, and in a related action Pizza Hut, for the alleged unauthorized use of the single "Lonely Boy" (released 2011) in commercials.  The sole cause of action is for copyright infringement.

Helm Claim Has No "Weight"

Helm v BBDO Worldwide, Inc.
2012 NY Slip Op 01573
Decided on March 1, 2012
Appellate Division, First Department (New York)
Plaintiff's claim under New York Civil Rights Law § 51, which prohibits the use of a person's "name, portrait, picture or voice" for advertising or trade purposes without written consent, was properly dismissed. By contract, plaintiff broadly granted his record company the "exclusive and perpetual right to use and control" plaintiff's sound recordings and the "performances embodied therein," which included the recording that was licenced to and used by defendant in a third-party television commercial. Although plaintiff claims that he never gave written consent for the use of his voice, as it is embodied in that recording, for the instant advertising purpose, he unambiguously authorized defendant to license the recording in the contract (see Greenfield v Philles Records, 98 NY2d 562, 569 [2002]).

Black Keys' Sue Over Commercial

Dan Auerbach; Patrick Carney dba McMoore McLessT Publishing v. Della Femina/Rothschild/Jeary Partners; Della Femina & Gianettino Inc.; Valley National Bancorp; Valley National Bank, Index No. 1:11 CV 4902 (S.D.N.Y. filed 7/15/2011).

The Black Keys (in the author's opinion, the pride of Akron, Ohio!) bring a copyright infringement action for defendants' unauthorized use of their song "Tighten Up" in a television commercial. Plaintiffs allege defendants incorporated significant portions of the copyrighted recording without first obtaining plaintiffs' consent or a license.