Tom Waits - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-20-2007, 10:56 AM Thread Starter
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Tom Waits

Quite unusual to see a famous musician suing for the use in the commercials and winning.

Tom Waits - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

"Waits has steadfastly refused to allow the use of his songs in commercials and has joked about other artists who do. ("If Michael Jackson wants to work for Pepsi, why doesn't he just get himself a suit and an office in their headquarters and be done with it."[14]) He has filed several lawsuits against advertisers who used his material without permission. He has been quoted, "Apparently the highest compliment our culture grants artists nowadays is to be in an ad—ideally naked and purring on the hood of a new car," he said in a statement, referring to the Mercury Cougar. "I have adamantly and repeatedly refused this dubious honor."[15]

Waits has often switched to smaller independent record companies over the years: he signed to Asylum Records before they were bought out by Elektra Records and Warner Bros. During his time with Island Records, that label expanded from a small company to a music industry giant; he then signed to Anti Records, a division of Epitaph Records.

Waits's first lawsuit was filed in 1988 against Frito Lay. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of California awarded Waits a US$2.6 million judgment in his favor (Waits v. Frito Lay, 978 F. 2d 1093 (9th Cir. 1992)[16]. Frito Lay had approached Waits to use one of his songs in an advertisement. Waits declined the offer, and Frito Lay hired a Waits soundalike to sing a jingle similar to Small Change's "Step Right Up", which is, ironically, a song Waits has called "an indictment of advertising."[17] Waits won the lawsuit, becoming the first artist to successfully sue a company for using an impersonator without permission.

In 1993, Levi's used Screamin' Jay Hawkins' version of Waits' "Heartattack and Vine" in a commercial. Waits sued, and Levi's agreed to cease all use of the song, and offered a full page apology in Billboard Magazine.[18]

In 2000, Waits found himself in a situation similar to his earlier one with Frito-Lay: Audi approached him, asking to use "Innocent When You Dream" (from Franks Wild Years) for a commercial broadcast in Spain. Waits declined, but the commercial ultimately featured music very similar to that song. Waits undertook legal action, and a Spanish court recognized that there had been a violation of Waits' moral rights, in addition to the infringement of copyright.[19] The production company, Tandem Campany Guasch, was ordered to pay compensation to Waits through his Spanish publisher. Waits was later quoted as jokingly saying the company got the name of the song wrong, thinking it was called "Innocent When You Scheme".

In 2005, Waits sued Adam Opel AG, claiming that, after having failed to sign him to sing in their Scandinavian commercials, they had hired a sound-alike singer. In 2007, the suit was settled, and Waits gave the sum to charity. [20]

Waits has also filed a lawsuit in an instance unrelated to his music. He was arrested in 1977 outside Duke's Tropicana Coffee Shop in Los Angeles. Waits and a friend were trying to stop some men from bullying other patrons. The men were plainclothed police and Waits and his friend were taken into custody and charged with disturbing the peace. The jury found Waits not guilty, and he took the police department to court and was awarded $7,500 compensation.[21]"
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-20-2007, 12:01 PM
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-20-2007, 03:36 PM
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He's so unique that imitation is obvious.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-20-2007, 03:43 PM
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-20-2007, 04:34 PM
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-21-2007, 12:40 AM
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Its a bit of an aquired taste, but I like his music.
I also like this gravel-voiced lawyer-turned-singer from Asti Paolo Conte. He is huge in France as well as Italy, and also sells out when he ventures into London. YouTube - Paolo Conte - Vieni via con me
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