Black Eyed Peas launch ‘My Humps’ copyright infringement claim after parody used to sell ‘pooping unicorns’
Sony BMG, the label acting on behalf of hip-hop/pop group Black Eyed Peas, is set to go to court over a case of copyright infringement - in the form of a cartoon advert promoting ‘slime pooping’ unicorn toys. The music publishing arm of the industry titan has taken umbrage with the band’s hit ‘My Humps’ being parodied in a commercial by toymaker MGA Entertainment, well known for their line of Bratz figurines.
BMG, who maintains it owns 75% of the copyright for ‘My Humps’, claims the toy line has earned MGA Entertainment tens of millions of dollars in profits, largely due to the promotional video with My Poops, which has run without its permission. However, parodies are protected in the United States by the First Amendment, leading to the argument of how much was parodied and how much was ‘ripped off.’
The promotional video uses the same lyrical flow that the original song used, and the lyrics changed to benefit the promotional campaign, with at one stage an animated unicorn reciting the lines “what ya gonna do with all that poop - all that poop- woo woo - I’m gonna poop oh poop poop oh yea - Gonna get loopy off my poopie.”
It’s the close-to-the-bone use of lyrics that have caused Sony BMG to launch legal action against the toymaker after several cease and desist orders were ignored by MGA Entertainment, Reuters News Agency reported.
Reuter’s also reported that the plaintiffs, BMG, maintain ‘My Poops’ clearly is a rip off of the ‘My Humps’ melody, tempo, chord progression, and even features a woman vocalist who sounds much like Fergie, who delivered most of the hooks in the original recording. The music publisher is seeking $10 million USD (just over £8 million) in damages from the toy company.