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Rock band settles copyright lawsuit against Pizza Hut, Home Depot

A pair of national chains will not be playing hit songs by rock band the Black Keys in commercials played on North Carolina televisions now that the band has settled its copyright infringement lawsuits against the companies. The band has informed the court that they, Pizza Hut and the Home Depot have reached a financial settlement.

The Black Keys are a rock band perhaps best known for hit songs like "Gold on the Ceiling" and "Lonely Boy" from their album "El Camino." According to the band, both Pizza Hut and Home Depot used copies of those songs in commercials without permission. It appears that the band accused the companies of using songs that were technically original but so similar that the songs were virtually indistinguishable. Danger Mouse, the producer behind "El Camino," also joined in the business litigation.

Both businesses denied violating the copyrights on the songs when the Black Keys filed suit in June. But the parties reportedly reached a settlement earlier in November. Attorneys for the band officially notified the court on Nov. 26 and the suits are expected to be dismissed early in January.

No details of the settlement are available. But besides any financial payments to the band, the settlement likely includes promises from Home Depot and Pizza Hut not to use their sound-alike jingles again.

Meanwhile, the Black Keys are working on their next album, which is set for release in 2013. It is doubtful that other businesses will risk infringing on the band's copyrights in the future.

Source: Los Angeles Times, "Black Keys settle lawsuits with Pizza Hut, Home Depot," August Brown, Nov. 28, 2012

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