Rebecca Black May Take ‘Friday’ Producers to Court
There's more news surrounding Rebecca Black's 'Friday' and this time it doesn’t involve a blog-happy hater. Black and her mother, Georgina Marquez Kelly, are accusing Ark Music Factory, which produced the "can't look away" amateur phenom that is 'Friday,' of copyright infringement and unlawful exploitation of publicity rights, according to Rolling Stone.
RS is in possession of a letter from the mother and daughter team's lawyer, which was sent to Ark Music Factory. The letter apparently alleges that Ark has committed a lot of no-nos, like failing to provide Black with the master recordings of her song and video. Their lawyer says that Black retains 100 percent ownership of the material. The lawyers also take Ark to task for exploiting Black's likeness and her song on YouTube, iTunes, Amazon and Ark's website. Additionally, the letter accuses the producers of creating an unauthorized 'Friday' ringtone and of advertising Black as an exclusive Ark recording artist on its website.
Ark Music Factory founder Patrice Wilson -- who was paid $4000 by Marquez Kelly to produce the song -- denied most of the allegations in the letter, telling Rolling Stone that, "I have met with Rebecca Black's mom and everything is fine. She will get the masters and the song. They can have it all."
In just a few short weeks, the video went viral, exploding from a paltry 4,000 views to five million views. 'Good Morning America' producers came calling, and Black was an overnight sensation with a lot of new earning potential for herself and those associated with the song.
But Wilson contends that it's no harm, no foul for Ark. "She's not our exclusive artist," Wilson also says. "Once an artist meets with us and once they blow up, they have a choice to retain us or move on if they can. Rebecca is now signed with someone else."
Despite all of Wilson's nice, non-confrontational statements, Ark's lawyer, Barry Rothman, casts doubts regarding validity of the November agreement, which could make this matter even stickier. "The agreement was not court-approved," Rothman says. "They say they own the composition. Nothing could be further from the truth. 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."
Looks like Black's 15 minutes are getting another extension!