Danger Mouse and Black Keys members Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney claim Pizza Hut and Home Depot used the songs “Gold on the Ceiling” and “Lonely Boy,” from the 2011 Black Keys album “El Camino” in two commercials. Danger Mouse, whose real name is Brian Burton, produced and co-wrote the songs with the band members, according to two complaints in federal court in Los Angeles. Burton won a Grammy for “Producer of the Year” for his work on “El Camino.
Home Depot’s commercial for Ryobi brand power tools uses a re-make of the song “Lonely Boy,” the first single off the band’s seventh album, “El Camino,” the first lawsuit states.
And Pizza Hut made an ad for “Cheesy Bites Pizza” featuring a reproduction of the album’s second single, “Gold On The Ceiling,” according to a second lawsuit, also in federal court in Los Angeles.
Both of the ads have been posted on YouTube.
“El Camino” went Gold when the album hit number two on the Billboard 200 Chart after being released that December by Nonesuch Records, a division of Warner Music Group. So far, 800,000 copies of the album have been sold.
The plaintiffs say they are awaiting the registration of copyrights they filed on Dec. 9, 2011.
The Black Keys sued Pizza Hut, Home Depot, The Martin Agency, The Interpublic Group of Companies and 30th Century Masters, a company that composes music for commercials.
The Black Keys have had problems in the past with their songs allegedly being used in ads. In June 2011, the duo accused the Della Femina ad agency of putting their song “Tighten Up”, the lead single from their 2010 album “Brothers,” in a TV commercial. They claimed the Manhattan ad agency’s client continued to use the hit song without a license, even after the band told them to stop.
In the current suits, the plaintiffs seek damages.
Russell Frackman, Christine Lepera, and Christina Djordjevich of Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp in Los Angeles are representing the plaintiffs.
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