Four Major Labels Sue 'The Ellen Degeneres Show"
September 11, 2009 at 4:37 AM (PT)
The four largest record companies, WARNER MUSIC GROUP, SONY MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT, UNIVERSAL MUSIC GROUP and EMI GROUP have sued the producers of "The ELLEN DEGENERES Show," accusing them of using songs without permission. The daytime show, which averages about three million viewers daily, features host DEGENERES dancing to popular songs selected by a deejay.
The program is produced and distributed by several divisions of TIME WARNER INC. DEGENERES is not named in the suit, but her company, A Very Good Production, is named.
The lawsuit, which seeks an unspecified amount of damages, said "The ELLEN DEGENERES Show" has used more than 1,000 songs without permission. It was filed WEDNESDAY in federal court in NASHVILLE.
When asked why licenses were not obtained for use of the songs, representatives for the show said they "did not roll that way."
"As sophisticated consumers of music, defendants knew fully well that, regardless of the way they rolled, under the Copyright Act ... they needed a license to use the sound recordings lawfully," the lawsuit stated.