Sep 11, 2009

Ellen DeGeneres and Company, You've Been Served! [Feuds]

Ellen DeGeneres was floating on cloud nine this week, when American Idol producers finalized a deal that made her the show's fourth judge. Sadly, that cloud has popped. Her talk show's being sued!

An army of record companies filed a lawsuit against Ellen's eponymous talk show for using their beloved, popular and oh-so-profitable songs without paying the price. Motown, Atlantic, Virgin and a host of other companies claim Ellen and her producers used their products in the talk show host's "dance over" segment, which involves the comedienne dancing toward her daily guest. It's all very fun, but, according to the record companies, also illegal. And Ellen knew that!

As sophisticated consumers of music, Defendants knew full well that, regardless of the way they rolled, under the Copyright Act, and under state law for the pre-1972 recordings, they needed a license to use the sound recordings lawfully.

Humph. Here we thought the music industry was about bringing happiness into an otherwise dismal existence. Now we learn they're only about profits. The horror!

For their part, Ellen's producers apparently responded to the lawsuit by claiming they don't look into licenses because they don't "roll that way." Fair enough.

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