How You Like me Now? 'The Fighter' Song Causes Big Legal Problems

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By Jason Beahm on January 24, 2011 11:49 AM

Have you seen the movie, The Fighter? If so, you might remember the song "How You Like Me Now?" which was featured throughout the movie. Who would have guessed that the song would begin a legal frenzy over music sampling?

But that is just what has happened. The song "How You Like Me Now?" is the work of British band The Heavy and was featured in a Kia Super Bowl advertisement last year.

Drive-In Music believed that the song sounded like a song they owned the rights to called, "Let a Woman be a Woman and a Man be a Man," The Hollywood Reporter reports. The song was performed by Dyke & The Blazers in 1969. Drive-In Music subsequently filed copyright suits against a number of companies including Kia, CBS and the NFL and settled the case out of court.

Emboldened, Drive-In has now filed suit against a number of additional companies, including:

  • Sony BMG
  • Ruthless Records
  • Capitol Records
  • Busta Rhymes
  • Warner Music
  • Elektra Entertainment
  • Atlantic Recording Company
  • Universal Music Group
  • Interscope-Geffen-A&M Group

That's quite a list. It's too early to tell, but the lawsuits over The Fighter song could still grow. For comparison's sake, here's the original song:

"Sampling" is reusing a small part of another song to make a new song. Sampling music exists in a sort of legal gray area although technically speaking it is usually a violation of copyright law. What makes this case especially interesting is that the plaintiff is suing over decades old songs. If this were to become common practice, the music industry could have an avalanche of sampling lawsuits.

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