Forget about the back seat, front seat debate. Rebecca Black and her mother are behind the wheel of potential legal action, accusing “Friday” producers Ark Music Factory of copyright infringement and unlawful exploitation of publicity rights.
Rolling Stone reported that Brian Schall, a lawyer representing Black and her mother, Georgina Marquez Kelly, sent a letter to Ark accusing them of failing to provide Black with the master recordings of her song and video; that they have exploited her likeness and her song on YouTube, iTunes and Amazon; and created an unauthorized “Friday” ringtone. They also want to stop Ark’s website ads that claim Black is an exclusive Ark recording artist.
Black’s “Friday,” which hit No. 38 this week on the Billboard digital sales chart, is one of the most watched music videos ever, fast approaching 75 million views on YouTube.
The founder of Ark Music Factory and the company’s attorney have differing points of view on the matter and members of the Ark team have begun squabbling over the company, according to the Rolling Stone piece.
Ark founder Patrice Wilson told Rolling Stone he would be turning over the masters and the song to Black and Kelly. Black has 100 percent ownership and control of “Friday,” including the master recording and the music video, which Kelly paid $4,000 to produce.
Ark’s lawyer, Barry Rothman, told Rolling Stone the mother-daughter duo do not own the composition. “If they go forward and license it or attempt to copyright it in their name, that would be copyright infringement and we’d act accordingly under the circumstances,” he told Rolling Stone.