Ellen Finally Punished For Dancing...to Unlicensed Music
Let this be a lesson to all talk show hosts: You can't just dance freely through your studio, booty-shaking with elderly guests and engaging unwilling audience members in a hand clap without any kind of repercussion. At least if your deejay is spinning over 1,000 popular jams that have not been licensed. Just ask Ellen DeGeneres, American Idol's freshly appointed fourth judge, whose production company, A Very Good Production, is being sued by four major record companies.
Warner Music Group Corp, Sony Music Entertainment, Vivendi SA's Universal Music Group and EMI Group filed a joint lawsuit on Wednesday against DeGeneres's company for using more than 1,000 songs without permission during the host's dancing segments on The Ellen DeGeneres Show.
The labels claim that when they asked DeGeneres Show representatives why they had not obtained licenses for the music, the show replied that they "did not roll that way."
The lawsuit responds that "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."