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The Black Keys Suing Home Depot + Pizza Hut Over Song Usage in Commercials

The Black Keys
Jordan Strauss, Getty Images

After years of holding out, the Black Keys finally saw the benefits of commercial usage when their single ‘Tighten Up’ blew up after being featured in a number of TV ads. But just because they said okay once before does not mean it’s a free-for-all, and the group is now taking legal action on both Home Depot and Pizza Hut.

The band has sued both companies claiming that they used the band’s music without consent. Bloomberg.com reports that Home Depot had an unauthorized usage of ‘Lonely Boy’ in a Ryobi power tools commercial, while Pizza Hut’s advertising for Cheesy Bites Pizza featured ‘Gold on the Ceiling,’ which the duo say they didn’t sign off on.

Both tracks have been used for approved commercial usage, though not for Pizza Hut and Home Depot. ‘Gold on the Ceiling’ was used during the NCAA Final Four college basketball commercials and for the upcoming Will Ferrell film, The Campaign, while ‘Lonely Boy’ turned up in a commercial for HSBC.

The band, along with producer Brian “Danger Mouse” Burton, entered separate filings against the two companies. The band’s lawyers claimed “a brazen and improper effort to capitalize on plaintiffs’ hard-earned success.” They also state that letters were sent to both companies in May requesting that they stop showing the ads featuring their music.

The Black Keys and Burton have asked for jury trials on the copyright infringement suits according to documents from Los Angeles’ Central District Court.

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