Tom Waits for Justice
Sound means everything and costs expensive for singer. Tom Waits proves it. The singer-songwriter has filed suit in a German court against carmaker Adam Opel AG, a division of General Motors, and ad agency McCann Erickson Deutschland, alleging the companies misappropriated his unique sound in a TV ad. And he is seeking damages of at least 250,000 euros.
Per the suit, filed Thursday in a Frankfurt court, Waits claims General Motors' Opel unit and the McCann Erickson agency produced and broadcast ads that used a "perfect impersonation" of his distinctive after he turned down offers to create music for a TV spot for Opel's new car model, the Zafira. Further it's stated, "It is well established in the music industry that (Waits) does not allow the use of his person, voice, likeness and/or photo for any advertisement of any kind."
Nevertheless, Opel and McCann Erickson created a spot features a singer croons a version of Brahms' "Lullabye" in a manner "that could successfully mistaken as the voice of (Waits)," the suit continues. Also, the music's arrangement and orchestration is similar to the sound of such well-known Waits tracks as "Dream Away" and "Innocent When You Dream."
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