Copyright Infringement Lawsuit Has Ford Humming a Sad Tune

Did Ford rip off someone else’s playlist? The answer to this question will emerge from a courtroom, now that the owner of a vast digital music catalog has filed a lawsuit against the automaker.

The copyright infringement suit, filed late last week, accuses Ford of improperly using 54 songs in its marketing materials over the span of several years.

As reported by The Detroit News, Freeplay Music LLC stakes claim to a massive catalog of songs. The litigant in this affair, New York-based FPM, owned by theme song and jingle composer Scott Schreer, says some 74 digital Ford ads or promotional materials sourced tunes from the catalog without paying for their use.

The lawsuit states, “This is an action for willful copyright infringement by a multibillion dollar company too cheap to secure licensing before commercially using registered works owned by another company.”

Heading the legal action are two heavy hitters. Howard Hertz (Hertz Schram PC) and Richard Busch (King & Ballow Entertainment Law) filed the lawsuit on Schreer’s behalf, with the latter of the duo known for the famous “Blurred Lines” lawsuit filed on behalf of the late Marvin Gaye’s estate.

It looks like the suits was a long time coming. Apparently, Schreer made Ford aware of its transgressions back in 2017, with his legal representatives claiming the copyright infringement continued until as late as last Thursday. The litigant seeks $150,000 for each infringement — a stiff ask that takes the wealth of the defendant into consideration.

“Finding these infringements is akin to finding a needle in a haystack. (Ford) apparently counted on the difficulty of being caught in deciding to engage in this massive willful copyright infringement,” Schreer’s lawyers wrote.

a version of this story first appeared on TTAC

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