Louis Vuitton isn't the only company up in arms about recent Super Bowl ads. Drive-In Music Company is in a tizzy, too, hurling lawsuits at Kia Motor Company, CBS, the NFL, and anyone else within arm's reach. At issue: the backing track used in Kia's Super Bowl commercial for the 2010 Kia Sorento, which Drive-In sees as a rip-off of a tune by 60s funk band Dyke and the Blazers.
The Kia Sorento ad in question features a song by British rock band The Heavy called "How You Like Me Now". Drive-In says that the song is a dupe of a Dyke and the Blazers ditty called "Let a Woman Be a Woman, Let a Man Be a Man", to which Drive-In owns the rights. Here are the Kia ad and the Dyke and the Blazers song for comparison:
As you might've guessed, we have a few issues with this lawsuit:
1. The background riff sounds similar in both songs, but "How You Like Me Now" is clearly not a remake of "Let a Woman Be a Woman". We're not legal scholars, but it seems that at best, Drive-In has a sampling case against The Heavy. If successful, Kia might then be liable for using the song in its ad, but who knows?
2. The background riff also sounds similar to half of James Brown's catalog, so maybe Brown's estate should sue the pants off Drive-In Music Company, The Heavy, and the hundreds of funk/rock bands who have used similar horn riffs for the past 40 years.
3. Frankly, we though the concept of originality in music was dead. Aren't all popular songs just mashups of the same four chords?
4. No matter what happens, the people of America should sue Kia for using Muno from Yo Gabba Gabba. That thing is freaky.
2011 Kia Sorento