Hollywood Studios Sued by Musicians Guild for Recycling Old Soundtracks

Los Angeles, CA

A complaint filed in California federal court Tuesday alleges major Hollywood film and TV studios have been recycling music for new projects in direct violation of a 2010 labor agreement.

The lawsuit, filed by the American Federation of Musicians of the United States and Canada accuses major studios Columbia Pictures, Warner Bros. Entertainment, Walt Disney Pictures, Paramount Pictures, as well as 20th Century Fox Film Corp. and Universal City Studios of violating the Basic Theatrical Motion Picture Agreement, according to TheWrap.

The agreement prohibits studios from using music created by the Federation’s members for projects other than those intended by the artist(s).

From section 8 (a) of the BTMP Agreement:

“The Producer agrees that all music sound track already recorded, or which will be recorded prior to the expiration of this Agreement, will not be used at any time for any purpose whatsoever except to accompany the picture for which the music sound track was originally prepared…”

The agreement does allow a limited number exceptions, provided payments are made under certain circumstances.

TheWrap reports some of the lawsuit’s alleged violations include:

Two minutes and 7 seconds of music from The Taking of Pelham 123 used in the film Knight & Day.

One minute and 10 seconds of music from Titanic used in the film This Means War.

Two minutes and 36 seconds of music from the 1976 film Car Wash in the NBC series Smash.

Half a minute of music from The Bourne Identity used in the series The Office.

Represented by attorney Lewis Levy, the plaintiff is requesting unspecified damages for breaches of contract.

The American Federation of Musicians filed a lawsuit against Warner Bros, MGM and Paramount in April for recording film scores outside the United States and Canada, citing violations of the same agreement.