Ohio’s premium blues-rock duo The Black Keys are filing suit against an ad agency for using their hit “Tighten Up” without permission. On behalf of the band, its label Nonesuch Records is suing New York agency Della Femina Rothschild Jeary & Partners with two separate federal lawsuits last week for usage of the song in order to promote New Jersey’s Valley National Bank during the Grammy Awards without permission. The duo is asking judges in Nashville and Manhattan, where the suits are filed, to bar the company from continuing to air the ad. A Tennessee suit file reads the following:
“For at least a two-week period in February 2011 coinciding with the period leading up to and the aftermath of the 2011 Grammy Awards, the Agency and VNB knowingly created and ran a television commercial incorporating significant portions of [Tighten Up] without having sought or obtained a license from Nonesuch to do so”
“Tighten Up” has sold 735,000 copies so far. The album it was on, Brothers, reached no. 1 on Billboard‘s rock album, alternative album, and digital album charts. The tune also hit no. 3 on Billboard’s Top 200 Chart.