The Sony Corporation could face a lawsuit for using an unlicensed song in “The Interview.” Popular K-pop singer Yoon Mi-rae's track “Pay Day” appears in the film, but her record label says Sony never paid for the rights.
Feel Ghood Music says it conducted negotiations with Sony Pictures Entertainment for “Pay Day” to appear in “The Interview,” but reached no agreement. The contracts never were signed, but the song was still in the film, which Sony released online and in 300 independent theaters Christmas Day.
“There were initial discussions for using ‘Pay Day' in the movie, but at some point, the discussions ceased and we assumed that it would not follow through,” Feel Ghood Music told Soompi.com. “However, after the movie was released, we learned that the track had been used without permission, legal procedure or contracts.”
Sony has had a number of problems with “The Interview,” including a devastating cyberattack from hackers who later threatened retaliation over the film’s release, invoking the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. U.S. President Barack Obama criticized Sony for canceling the film’s release, but Sony Pictures’ president defended the move, saying the company had no control over theaters that decided not to screen it.
The hackers released Sony Pictures’ private data, previously unreleased films and a number of sensitive emails that led to widespread criticism of company executives’ controversial comments. More than 1.7 million people have downloaded “The Interview” illegally since it was released online, Variety reported. Sony will now face a lawsuit over copyright infringement of its own, Feel Ghood Music said.
“We will be taking legal action against Sony Pictures as well as DFSB, the agency that had been carrying out the discussion regarding the use of the track,” the label told the site.
Yoon Mi-rae, born in the U.S. as Natasha Shanta Reid, reached the No. 1 spot on Korean Music Charts in January 2013 as a member of the group MFBTY. The popular hip-hop and R&B group also reached No. 1 on Billboard’s K-Pop Hot 100 list in September with the song “Touch Love.” The “May Day Remix” of her song “Pay Day” also features Korean pop artists Tiger JK, Jaesun Park and Double Dragon.