The American Federation of Musicians of the United States and Canada has accused major Hollywood studios of recycling old soundtracks in a new lawsuit launched this week.
The federation claims that studios, including Sony, Paramount and Disney, have violated the terms of a collective bargaining agreement after using previously recorded film scores in later releases.
The official complaint lists a number of examples, including some major releases. For instance, there was allegedly 1min 10sec of the Titanic score used in This Means War, 33sec of Cast Away featured in Bridesmaids, 35sec of Battle for the Planet of the Apes used in Argo and 2min 23sec of Close Encounters of the Third Kind used in Labor Day, without necessary compensation.
Producers agree in guild agreements that “all music soundtrack already recorded … will not be used at any time for any purpose whatsoever except to accompany the picture for which the music soundtrack was originally prepared.”
There is an allowance for up to 2min of an “unsynced clip”, but only if certain payments are then made.
The complaint requests damages be paid by all major studios that are in breach of agreement.