Be careful when you play the catchy “Simpsons” theme song.Last week, the American Federation of Musicians sued both 20th Century Fox and NBC Universal for what they call improper use of music from the long-running cartoon series.
According to a complaint filed October 2 in Los Angeles by the union, Universal obtained a recorded music sound track from “The Simpsons” and used it a roller coaster attraction in its theme park in Hollywood without notifying the AFM.
The union claims this goes against a former agreement made with Fox when the AFM first recorded music for “The Simpsons.”
In an excerpt from the agreement:
“The Producer agrees that all music sound track already recorded, or which will be recorded prior to the expiration of this Agreement, will not be used at any time for any purpose whatsoever except to accompany the picture for which the music sound track was originally prepared.”
The AFM is suing for breach of contract agreement, seeking injunctive relief. The musician’s union also wants damages for the musicians who recorded “The Simpsons” music.
However, according to Article 8A of the Agreement:
” … No additional compensation shall be payable for the reuse of any portion of the music sound track of a motion picture in the following circumstances: (a) When used for promotional, trailer, news or review purposes …
Upon learning of any unauthorised use of either ‘the making of …’ or ‘behind-the-scenes’-type promotional programs, the parties will jointly discuss appropriate steps to be taken to collect monies for such unauthorised use.”
NBC Universal is claiming use of the soundtrack is solely promotional.
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