A potential copyright breach has been discovered by John Butler Trio fans who were watching the ads aired during yesterday’s Superbowl and noticed the famous riff from the band’s single ‘Zebra’ being used in an ad for Greek yoghurt.
The use of the riff has let a bad taste in the mouth of the group’s management who have revealed that they did not authorise the use of the song for the advertisement and will be seeking legal advice on whether the use constitutes a breach of their copyright.
“Thank you everyone for making us aware of the Oikos Greek yoghurt TV ad that aired during the Super Bowl (today) featuring a song that sounds extremely similar to Zebra,” said a post on the band’s Facebook page. “John Butler and his management were not aware of this usage until (today) and we will be seeking advice as how to address the issue.”
The Superbowl is watched by over 100 million people in the US and the limited advertising spots during the game cost around $3.5 million per 30 seconds. The yoghurt drama was the second controversy of the Superbowl after halftime entertainer M.I.A. landed in hot water with broadcasted NBC and the NFL for ‘flipping the bird’ during her performance.
The company that ran the ad, Oikos Greek Yoghurt, have responded to the backlash from music fans saying “A question about the music in our Super Bowl commercial has been brought to our attention. We are working to fully understand and address the situation. We apologize for any concerns this has caused John Butler Trio’s band members and fans.”
Another Australian band, Men At Work, found out the hard way recently about copyright infringement when a judge ordered the band pay 5% of earning plus royalties stretching back to 2002 for ripping off the melody from ‘Kookaburra Sits In The Old Gum Tree’.
Watch the yoghurt advertisement and the music video for ‘Zebra’ below and let us know whether you think they ripped the song off.