“The Simpsons” has run for almost a quarter-century, but now it faces its first major litigation.
The American Federation of Musicians recently sued 20th Century Fox and NBC Universal over music from the cartoon.
The suit is over a “Simpsons”-themed ride at Universal Studios Theme Park in Hollywood, California, featuring recorded music from the show’s soundtrack. The lawsuit, which was filed in California federal court, alleges that Universal obtained the music without giving any notice to the AFM.
Fox and Universal are both parties to a 2010 agreement with the musicians’ guild, according to the complaint, which had a broad restriction on new uses of music created to use in TV shows.
These songs are allegedly supposed to be used as “originally prepared,” other than for advertising, rehearsing, the edification of company executives and other instances, according to the complaint. The lawsuit says that the use at Universal Stuidos doesn’t fall with any of the new use exceptions in the agreement, and thus isn’t authorized.
Universal has countered by stating the use is “promotional” in nature.
The AFM is seeking injunctive relief, and also wants economic damages for the musicians who performed on the music for the show, according to the complaint.