The Black Keys on Warpath Against ‘Soundalikes’ in TV Commercials

From The Hollywood Reporter:

In the history of advertising, it’s not unusual for brand companies to commission “sound-alikes” of popular songs for commercials. About a decade ago, NPR’s On the Media examined the phenomenon of ad agencies falling in love with a particular piece of music and presented the choice facing those who create advertisements: 1) obtain the rights to use the song from the artist, 2) compose something else, or 3) go to a music production house and get a piece of music that’s similar but differs enough in such areas as key or melody to avoid lawsuits.

Many advertisers choose option 3 — and some musicians are no longer standing for it. And Grammy-winning garage rock band The Black Keys might be prepared to lead the vanguard on this front.
After settling two lawsuits with Pizza Hut and Home Depot in December over alleged use of its songs in commercials, the band filed a third lawsuit last week. Terms of the settlements with the first two companies weren’t revealed, but evidently the resolution was financially satisfactory to lead The Black Keys to bet on more litigation — this time, against Pinnacle Entertainment, which runs casinos throughout the United States, and Manhattan Production Music, a company that creates music for commercial advertising.

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