White Stripes claim Super Bowl commercial ripped off riff

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White Stripes claim Super Bowl commercial ripped off riff

Tue Feb 09, 2010 @ 10:25AM PST

By Eriq Gardner

Elephant Jack White of the White Stripes once sang: "I'm gonna fight 'em all / A seven nation army couldn't hold me back / They're gonna rip it off / Taking their time right behind my back."

Now comes the test of whether an army can hold Jack White back. 

The singer is upset that the U.S. Air Force Reserves broadcast a commercial during the Super Bowl that used a guitar riff that sounded very similar to the one featured in the White Stripes' "Fell in Love With a Girl."

The band has posted a message on its Web site claiming its song was re-recorded and used without permission. "The White Stripes take strong insult and objection to the Air Force Reserves presenting this advertisement with the implication that we licensed one of our songs to encourage recruitment during a war that we do not support," wrote the band.

The White Stripes add they plan to "take strong action" against the Air Force.

We couldn't get anybody to comment from the Air Force Reserve. Its Web site appears to have already removed the Super Bowl commercial.

UPDATE: The composer of the instrumental track used in the Super Bowl commercial said the similarity was a coincidence, but apologized to the band.

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The Hollywood Reporter, Esq. blog focuses on how the entertainment and media industries are impacted and influenced by the law. It is edited by Matthew Belloni with contributions from veteran legal reporter Eriq Gardner and others. Before joining The Hollywood Reporter, Belloni was a lawyer at an entertainment litigation firm in Los Angeles. He writes a column for THR devoted to entertainment law. Gardner is a New York-based writer and legal journalist. Send tips or comments to [email protected]

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