Los Angeles – A Brooklyn heavy metal band is suing the New Jersey Devils for $10 million in a copyright infringement case over a song. Rob Traynor, lead singer of Black Water Rising is claiming that the professional hockey team used one of the band’s songs in a video without authorization. The lawsuit was filed after the Devils refused to pay the band for use of the song, “Rise.”
In a statement from the attorney representing the band, he said the Devils “are stubbornly stuck on offering an insultingly small amount of money to settle the case.”
According to details in a statement released by Traynor, the alleged infringement took place in September 2010. Traynor was informed via text message by a friend attending a Devils game that the hockey team was using the band’s song, “Rise” as their entrance/introduction music. Traynor then investigated the matter by posting the news on Facebook, which led to many responses from Devils fans claiming that they too had witnessed the song being played.
It seemed that “Rise” was the song of choice for the hockey team in its 2010-2011 “Devil’s Army Rise Up!” campaign to create energy and excitement with the fans. Traynor admits that the band was flattered to hear that its song had been chosen but also very shocked since the band had not been contacted for its permission. After further investigation, Traynor discovered that “Rise” was not only being played at New Jersey Devils hockey games, but also in a video on the Devils website used to promote the team.
An organization known as ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers) serves as the middle man between musicians and organizations by licensing music and collecting royalties owed to the musicians. Most of the organizations that use ASCAP hold “blanket licenses” which cover just about every public use of ASCAP-licensed music. The claim from the band is that the blanket license doesn’t cover use of the song and that the Devils must hold a “sync license” to use the song in a pre-game pump-up video for the fans. Any videos on the team’s website with use of the song, have since been removed.