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Black Keys Settle Copyright Infringement Lawsuits

Black Keys
Theo Wargo, Getty Images

The Black Keys have settled their copyright infringement lawsuits against Pizza Hut and Home Depot. BBC News is reporting that all parties have settled out of court, with the group reaching an agreement with Pizza Hut Monday (Nov. 26) and Home Depot earlier this month. Terms of the settlements were not disclosed.

Back in June, the group claimed that the chains had used songs that sounded suspiciously like their own in their advertisements. Home Depot, they believed, had borrowed ‘Lonely Boy,’ while Pizza Hut appropriated ‘Gold on the Ceiling,’ both of which appear on 2011’s hit album ‘El Camino.’ The lawsuit said that the commercials were “a brazen and improper effort to capitalize on plaintiffs’ hard-earned success.” Both companies denied the claims in August.

Musicians suing corporations for creating soundalikes is not a new concept. In 1988, Tom Waits sued Frito-Lay for using a jingle similar to his song ‘Step Right Up’ in an ad after Waits had refused to give them permission to use the original. Waits was awarded $2.375 million.

Now that the suits have been settled, we will probably never get an answer as to why Pizza Hut and Home Depot, independently of each other, thought they could get away with it. One theory suggests that since the Black Keys already license so many songs for commercials, they wouldn’t notice one or two more.

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