South Korean pop stars could sue Sony for using song in 'The Interview'

Adam Housley reports from Los Angeles


It’s a nightmare that just won’t end.

In another strange twist involving Sony and its film “The Interview,” two South Korean hip-hop stars are threatening legal action over the alleged unauthorized use of their music in the movie.

Musicians Tiger JK and Yoon Mi-rae issued a press release on Friday following the online release of “The Interview” through their agency Feel Ghood Music, claiming that their song “Pay Day” was used without a signed deal with Sony.

Per their release cited by the Hollywood Reporter, there were initial discussions about including the song in the film, but at some point negotiations stopped.

“So we were under the impression that it wasn’t happening. It was only after the film was released that we became aware of the song’s unauthorized use, without taking the appropriate and necessary steps to complete a contract with the artists," the release stated.

More On This...

According to entertainment attorney Julian Chan, the movie industry is notorious for sloppiness, and it’s a deal that could cost the already embattled company some big bucks. 

“Legal clearance is more an art than science and since a film is made in pieces – with the sound being added sometimes last minute – sometimes some things just fall into the cracks. For example, you might do a pan of a room and forget all the posters on a wall are copyrighted,” Chan explained. “And while you might have a lawyer review draft footage for clearance issues, sometimes music clearance is left to a music supervisor who is not a lawyer. With new directors, they may not fully be exposed to strong film management processes.”

Sony did not respond to a request for comment.

Last month, the movie studio became victim to a mass data hack, and “The Interview” was pulled from big theater chains in December before being released in independent theaters and online Christmas day.

Hollie McKay has been a staff reporter since 2007. She has reported extensively from the Middle East on the rise and fall of terrorist groups such as ISIS in Iraq. Follow her on twitter at @holliesmckay