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Black Keys Sue Bank For Using 'Tighten Up' Without Permission

Band seeks damages in proportion to the popularity of the Grammy-winning tune

June 9, 2011 2:55 PM ET
The Black Keys perform at Coachella in Indio, California, April 15, 2011.
The Black Keys perform at Coachella in Indio, California, April 15, 2011.
C Flanigan/FilmMagic

The Black Keys have filed two separate federal lawsuits against the New York agency Della Femina Rothschild Jeary and Partners for using their song "Tighten Up" in an ad for Valley National Bank without their permission. The lawsuits, filed in both Nashville and Manhattan by Nonesuch Records on behalf of the Black Keys, claim that the agency used the track without asking or compensating the band.

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The ad campaign, which depicts Valley National Bank president Gerald H. Lipkin making a pitch while the song plays in the background, aired during the span of time in February just before and after the band won the awards for Alternative Music Album for Brothers and Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group With Vocals at the Grammy Awards for "Tighten Up." Nonesuch Records says that it sent cease-and-desist letters to both the agency and the bank, but were ignored.

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Nonesuch's lawyer told Billboard that they and the band are asking the judges to award damages in proportion to the popularity of the song, which was a single from an album that has sold upwards of 735,000 copies and has been licensed extensively.

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