This week, Pitchfork Media reported that LCD Soundsystem and Beach House were victims of copyright infringement by advertising companies working for major corporations. A new TGI Friday’s ad (that’s right — the chain still exists) starring a 2 for 1 deal had background music that writer Jenn Pelly correctly identified as “suspiciously similar” to Soundsystem’s 2005 hit “Daft Punk is Playing in My House.” Though the song in the commercial sounds like LCD, it does not match “Daft Punk is Playing in My House” precisely and the legality of its usage is a bit fuzzy.
In another suspiciously similar predicament, a British company was called out for using a rip-off of Beach House’s “Take Care.” Even more interesting, it came to light that an advertising company had spent recent weeks doing everything they could to license Beach House’s tune, which the band consistently prevented them from doing. One can only assume that the company got fed up and simply had an artist tweak the song just enough to allow it to skate past licensing rights.
These situations beg the question: Where do creative rights begin and end? Does the overall foundation and effect of a song fall under an artist’s ownership? Or does the artist only own the exact notes and words they used to project a message to the world?
One has to hope that the foundation and effect of a song are protected by copyright laws. If one were to change the structure of a Robert Frost poem and alter its words to “two trails grew apart in a fores,t” would the literary community not reject the second artist’s attempt as a blatant rip-off of the original? If all things are fair in the music world, we will see some sort of restitution paid to the bands who have been cheated out of well-earned recognition and pay.
TGI Friday’s Ad
LCD Soundsystem’s “Daft Punk is Playing in My House”Tags: copyright, corporation, infringement, music