Sony apparently used copyrighted music in its latest film, “The Interview,” without getting permission from the artist — and without compensating her, either — Torrent Freak reports.
The artist’s label “will be taking legal action against Sony Pictures as well as DFSB, the agency that had been carrying out the discussion regarding the use of the track.”
Natasha Shanta Reid is a 33-year-old US-born hip-hop and R&B artist, but she goes by the stage name Yoon Mi-rae on the Feel Ghood Music label in Korea, where she is extremely popular.
According to Reid’s label Feel Ghood, Sony initially negotiated with Yoon Mi Rae to use one of her songs, called “Pay Day,” in its film “The Interview.” But the two sides couldn’t reach an agreement.
And yet, Sony used the music anyway.
Feel Ghood Music on Friday provided the following statement to a website called Soompi:
There were initial discussions for using “Pay Day” in the movie, but at some point, the discussions ceased and we assumed that it would not follow through. However, after the movie was released, we learned that the track had been used without permission, legal procedure, or contracts. We will be taking legal action against Sony Pictures as well as DFSB, the agency that had been carrying out the discussion regarding the use of the track.
This lawsuit could get messy, since, as Torrent Freak points out, the film was pirated more than 1.5 million times in just two days after its Christmas Eve online release. But money aside, Yoon Mi-rae can argue that she isn’t able to benefit from “The Interview” in that having her name on the film would have significantly raised her profile, particularly internationally. It will be tough to put a value on that.
We’ve reached out to Sony for more details and we’ll update this story when we learn more.
Here is Yoon Mi-rae performing “Pay Day.”