The AFM is suing six major studios (Columbia, Paramount, Twentieth Century Fox, Universal, Walt Disney, and Warner Brothers) for reusing film soundtrack clips in other films and television programs without appropriately compensating musicians.
“Our agreements obligate the studios to make additional payments to musicians when soundtracks are reused and AFM members are entitled to receive the benefit of that bargain,” says AFM President Ray Hair. “Our efforts to resolve these contract violations and missing payments have been unproductive, so we are looking to the courts for relief.”
The lawsuit cites numerous examples of the studios violating their collective bargaining agreements by reusing film scores without paying musicians including:
- Columbia using music from Karate Kid in an episode of the television series Happy Endings;
- Disney using music from Beauty and the Beast and The Muppet Movie in the television series The Neighbors;
- Fox using music from Titanic in the film This Means War;
- Paramount using music from Up in the Air in the film Follow Me: The Yoni Netanyahu Story;
- Universal using music from Bourne Identity in the television series The Office; and
- Warner Brothers using music from Battle for the Planet of the Apes in the film Argo.
In the lawsuit the AFM is seeking damages for all losses, including prejudgment interest. You can read the entire complaint on the AFM website.