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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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