Fox Defends Use of 'Domo Arigato, Mr. Roboto' in '80s Breakdancing Epic

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Fox Defends Use of 'Domo Arigato, Mr. Roboto' in '80s Breakdancing Epic

Wed Mar 05, 2008 @ 11:10AM PST

Posted by Matthew Heller

Oldskool The use of a fragment of the lyrics from the Styx anthem "Mr. Roboto" in last year's Jamie Kennedy break-dancing opus "Kickin' It Old Skool" does not amount to copyright infringement, Fox is arguing in a motion to dismiss a suit filed by the owner of the songs' rights.

"Ironically, like the robots in the Song who seek dominion over mankind, Plaintiff now seeks to exert control over other creators who take aim at and mock this self-important anthem of the dangers of thought-control," the motion says. "The law, however, does not allow Plaintiff to exercise such dominion."

Wixen Music Publishing sued Fox and others involved in producing "Kickin' It" in January, alleging unauthorized use of the famous "Mr. Roboto" reprise "Domo Arigato, Mr. Roboto." Fox attorney Lincoln Bandlow of Spillane Shaeffer Aronoff Bandlow in Century City points out, however, that "the line from the Film is actually 'Aki, it’s time to say Domo Arigato and find your inner Roboto.'”

"This fleeting, fragmented use of three words from the Song ... is the equivalent of the owners of the copyright in 'Gone With the Wind' suing if another film used the words 'frankly', 'dear' and 'damn,'" Bandlow argues. "The use of three words (not similarly ordered) from the Song is simply not enough to show the required 'substantial similarity" to support an infringement claim."

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