Major Hollywood Studios Sued by Musicians’ Federation Over Soundtrack Recycling

Complaint alleges that music from “The Bourne Identity” was used for “The Office,” among other infractions

Columbia Pictures, Warner Bros. Entertainment,  Walt Disney Pictures, Paramount Pictures and other companies have been hit with a lawsuit alleging that they’ve recycled soundtrack music in violation of a labor agreement.

The American Federation of Musicians of the United States and Canada slapped the above companies, along with 20th Century Fox Film Corp. and Universal City Studios, with a lawsuit on Tuesday, saying that soundtrack work was improperly re-used in multiple projects.

According to the suit, filed in federal court in California, the defendants are guilty of multiple violations of the Basic Theatrical Motion Picture Agreement, which prohibits the re-use of soundtrack music created by the Federation’s members, except under certain limited conditions, in which case the companies are required to make “certain specified payments” for the re-use.

However, the lawsuit alleges, there are abounding examples where soundtrack music was re-used in violation of the agreement, or payments were not made in accordance with the agreement.

Among the alleged violations:

Two minutes and 7 seconds of music from “The Taking of Pelham 123” used in the film “Knight & Day.”

One minute and 10 seconds of music from “Titanic” used in the film “This Means War.”

Two minutes and 36 seconds of music from the 1976 film “Car Wash” in the NBC series “Smash.”

Half a minute of music from “The Bourne Identity” used in the series “The Office.”

The suit is seeking unspecified damages.

Pamela Chelin contributed to this report.