Restaurants

Applebee's sued by Sony over unauthorized music use

People eatin’ good in the neighborhood may have also been jamming out to some cool tunes—illegally.

That’s according to a new lawsuit from Sony. The entertainment and electronics giant is suing Applebee’s for using AC/DC and C+C Music Factory songs in new restaurant promos-- without securing Sony's permission or paying for the songs, TMZ reports

The casual restaurant chain recently used C+C Factory’s hit "Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now)" and AC/DC’s 1980s anthem “Rock And Roll Ain't Noise Pollution” in a new ad campaign, but Sony says it owns both the license and copyright for these songs.

APPLEBEE'S HAS A PRETTY UNHEALTHY MENU ITEM

It appears Applebee’s tried to secure permission to use the songs because, according to the suit, Sony says it was contacted by a third party seeking rights to use both songs in TV commercials for the chain’s wood-fire grilled beef and its to-go service.

Sony says it provided prices for both tracks— the usage fee for the AC/DC song was $250,000, while the fee for C+C Factory’s song was $50,000—and also sent over official licensing agreements. Despite the fact that both songs have since been used in Applebee’s advertisements, Sony says it hasn’t seen a dime.

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According to the lawsuit, Sony says that when they attempted to contact Applebee's about recouping fees, the restaurant chain said they had already paid the third party. Now, Sony is seeking $300,000 plus damages. 

An Applebee's spokesperson told TMZ that the chain "intends to vigorously defend this lawsuit, which we believe does not have merit. We cannot comment further on pending litigation.”