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Click above to view the video after the jump

With all of the lawsuits flying, at least Kia knows its commercials are being watched. First, it was a problem with fellow Korean automaker Hyundai using a Louis Vuitton-like fabric; now, Drive-In Music Company, Incorporated has tossed lawsuits at Kia, CBS, NFL Enterprises and creative agency David & Goliath, among others. At issue is the head-bobbingly catchy tune used in the TV spot for the Sorento, which debuted during the Super Bowl.

Drive-In Music agrees that the song is catchy, and contends that this is due to the fact that UK artist The Heavy's sampled Drive-In's artist Dyke and the Blazers. How Kia, CBS, D&G and everyone else becomes a party to this case of fair-use fuzziness is quite a head-scratcher, other than the obvious money grab, of course. There's a marked similarity between The Heavy's "How You Like Me Now" and Dyke and the Blazers' "Let A Woman Be A Woman," and it's not a stretch to imagine that the original song was the source of the riff. Some producers have record collections that run incomparably deep with some of the most obscure cuts; it's the way the Amen Break became so ubiquitous, for example.

Sampling has always been a hot potato, and while Drive-In may have cast an excessively wide net in this case, you can't blame the company for looking out for its interests. Still, it's certain that D&G did its best to clear all of the music and characters featured in the ad, which portrays characters like Muno from Yo Gabba Gabba, an overgrown sock monkey and toy robot reveling in grown-up fun. When clearing The Heavy's work with its label, the fact that the song had been released on the 2009 album "The House That Dirt Built" implies that label Counter Records had settled any samples contained therein. The fact that The Heavy's song was used by Kia in a commercial aired during the Super Bowl shouldn't make them targets. This issue appears to really be between Drive-In Music and Counter Records, though nobody stands to walk away with any money that way, which appears to be the whole point of tossing this cluster bomb in the first place. Videos posted after the jump for your review.

[Source: The Car Connection]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      Well, funny spot but i like it, I'm Italian and i prefer buy KIA instead Fiat! More reliable cars and designed in Germany.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Poor KIA. Everytime they sue them it feels like someone is going after that kid with "special needs" if you know what I mean.
      • 5 Years Ago
      A famous orchestra got a six figure settlement from a famous pop singer for using a sample of one of their recordings in one of his songs. There's plenty of precedent for a case just like this. Reach for your wallets, boys.
        • 5 Years Ago
        that is in no way a precedent to kia being sued.
        drive in music has the rights to the song and can go after the heavy/ the heavy's publisher for copyright infringement. kia's/ d&g's use of the song in a commercial does not have anything to do with it. the use just brought to light that it was similar beyond doubt to be a copy or even a straight up sample.
        the example you give as precedent is merely the original artist going after the sampling artist. simple music industry law.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Kia has deeper pockets and will be sued and find it tough not to pay, as they used it to gain business and are ultimately responsible for the content and method used to make the commercial. See what happens when this gets to court.
      • 5 Years Ago
      The ads are puzzling, but I guess I don't understand the whole stuffed sock puppet thing.

      The Sorento is not bad at all. Test drove a black with black leather interior version with the V6 last weekend and it was rather nicer than the sibling Santa Fe.

      Plasticky, but so is everything these days and you know what? Most of the plastic feel goes away once a steering wheel grip is added. Something small like that makes all the difference.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Kia also got in trouble from the NFL for the sock puppet commercial having shots of The Strip and casinos in it. Apparently it's against league rules for a commercial to show that people might at some time in their life might gamble. Kia can't catch a break.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I can't stand those silly hamstesr riding around commercials. Whats the point anyway, a car a hamster could love?
      • 5 Years Ago
      exactly. its not about suing for what's right, its about suing to make more money. screw em.

      judge should throw out the case and null any further suits against the correct offenders as punishment
      • 5 Years Ago
      More copyright infringement as usual.
      • 5 Years Ago
      They can also get sued by Toyota for rebadging their Lexsus RX and by Honda for the Forte Koup...
        • 5 Years Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      I stand amused that while trying to view the video of "Let A Woman Be A Woman" it says the video has been removed due to terms of use violation. Ha!
        • 5 Years Ago

        Really though, Autoblog, it would be nice if you fix the broken link for convenience's sake.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Oh blood-thirsty lawyers...but how else can they pay for that new M3? I don't really care about either party here, so the lawyers get a pass in this case (not that they care).

      Keep fighting the good fight, thou righteous ones.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I just like the damn commercial...
        I choose to play ignorant and enjoy the sock monkey on the mechanical bull.
        • 5 Years Ago
        No, this is actually a problem with that agency and they're clearly liable. It's up to their business affairs division to clear and double-check their venders. Having not done so, they opened themselves up to a costly suit that they will no doubt have to settle. Going to court would ruin them and drag their client into it.

        Honestly, copyright is a very, very big deal and involves a lot of lost jobs (not just millionaire artists). D&G should know better and will pay the price for not being thorough.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Also, Federal copyright law requires that a person actively defend their copyright, justly or not, in order to maintain the copyright. At least that's my lay understanding of copyright law.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I believe that in Sampling a copyrighted song, there has to be a certain number of notes/words from the original tune used --- which makes the original work....original. Once a Sample uses that predetermined amount of notes played, then permission must be granted and royalties distributed to the authors/creators/etc.

        A lot of times, whole tracks have been re-recorded in today's music to skirt that law/copyright rule. That's why we tend to hear a bit of old music in today's albums, but not quite the original music most times. And for most older (unpopular) music that's used, the royalties owed are all that expensive and most Labels or companies are happy to pay to settle the lawsuit out of court.
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