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AFM sues six Hollywood studios for reusing soundtracks in movies

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MUMBAI: The American Federation of Musicians of the United States and Canada (AFM) is suing six major studios for reusing film soundtrack clips in other films and television programs without appropriately compensating musicians.

The studios named in the lawsuit are: Columbia Pictures, Paramount Pictures, Twentieth Century Fox, Universal City Studios, Walt Disney Pictures and Warner Brothers Entertainment.

“Our agreements obligate the studios to make additional payments to musicians when soundtracks are reused and AFM members are entitled to receive the benefit of that bargain. Our efforts to resolve these contract violations and missing payments have been unproductive, so we are looking to the courts for relief,” said AFM International president Ray Hair.

The studios have been pulled up for reusing previously recorded film soundtracks in violation of AFM’s collective bargaining agreement with the studios.

The lawsuit cites numerous examples of the studios reusing film scores without paying musicians including:

• Columbia using music from Karate Kid in an episode of the television series Happy Endings;

• Disney using music from Beauty and the Beast and The Muppet Movie in the television series The Neighbors;

• Fox using music from Titanic in the film This Means War;

• Paramount using music from Up in the Air in the film Follow Me: The Yoni Netanyahu Story;

• Universal using music from Bourne Identity in the television series The Office; and

• Warner Brothers using music from Battle for the Planet of the Apes in the film Argo.

The AFM is seeking award damages for all losses, including prejudgment interest.

In April this year, the AFM had also sued the studios for allegedly breaching the guild agreement by recording film scores outside the US and Canada.

Click here to read the complaint: 

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