Black Keys Sue Pizza Hut, Home Depot Over Song Use
The “Lonely Boy” band filed the federal lawsuits Thursday, claiming Home Depot did not have permission to use elements of the hit song in an ad promoting power tools and that Pizza Hut misused “Gold on the Ceiling” in a recent ad.
Both songs appeared on the rock group’s seventh album, El Camino, which was released last year and has sold nearly 840,000 copies. The Black Keys are comprised of Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney. Musician-producer Brian Burton, who is known as Danger Mouse, is also suing the companies.
“The experts confirmed that this was copyright infringement,” band spokeswoman Mary Moyer said in a statement.
The cases seek unspecified damages of more than $75,000 apiece and an order preventing the continued use of the songs in the commercials.
“We haven’t seen the complaint yet, but respect for intellectual property rights is a matter we take very seriously,” said Home Depot spokesman Stephen Holmes.
Pizza Hut spokesman Christopher Fuller said the company also hasn’t seen the case, but fully respects artists’ rights. He directed inquiries to the ad’s creators, The Martin Agency and The Interpublic Group of Companies.
A Martin Agency spokesman said the company doesn’t respond to pending lawsuits, and a spokesman for the Interpublic Group of Companies was not immediately available.
The suits claim both companies were given written notices that the ads misused The Black Keys’ music. The Home Depot ad touts Ryobi power tools, while the Pizza Hut ad touts its new “Cheesy Bites Pizza.”
Neither company received permission to use musical elements from the songs. The ads do not include any vocals.
The Black Keys won two Grammy Awards in 2010 for music from their album Brothers, which won the Best Alternative Music Album award that year.