Chick-Fil-A and ESPN Under Attack for Copyright Infringement
On April 10, 2018, music producer, Platinum Jack Entertainment, LLC filed suit in a Texas court against Chick-Fil-A and ESPN for their allegedly impermissible use of a band’s original music in recent commercials. The commercials feature sportscasters Joey Galloway and Adnan Virk of ESPN making chicken-related football commentary, with the tune of the song in dispute playing in the background. Though the song lacks the vocals that would make its appropriation clear, Platinum Jack contends that it is identifiable sans lyrics and is currently asserting copyright infringement.
The song is entitled “Best I Had” by the band Drayter, from whom Platinum Jack purchased “all rights and publishing.” In its complaint, Platinum Jack argues that Chick-Fil-A and ESPN “reproduced, synchronized, distributed, and/or publicly performed” the track. In doing so, Platinum Jack argues, Chick-Fil-A and ESPN acted without “license, authorization, permission or consent to use the Infringed Composition.” The complaint continues that Platinum Jack became aware of the allegedly improper use in the fall 2017, though Chick-Fil-A and Platinum Jack were only made aware of the infringement by a letter sent mid-February 2018.
In terms of damages, the producer is not holding back. It seeks profits stemming from the alleged infringement, as well as a permanent injunction, prejudgment interest, and attorneys’ fees and costs, in addition to any other relief deemed proper by the court.