Warner Bros. might find itself having a devil of a time in court over the “Lucifer” theme song
Warner Bros. Entertainment has found itself on the receiving end of a copyright infringement lawsuit filed by composers who wrote the song that the theme for the Fox series is based on.
The suit, filed Thursday in federal court in California, alleges, “Although all defendants acknowledge that [Robert and Aron Marderosian] wrote and performed the ‘Lucifer’ main title theme, defendants Warner Bros. and NS Pictures have commercially used, broadcast and exploited the ‘Lucifer’ main title theme without any agreement with or license from Plaintiffs.”
The suit goes on to allege that, while the Marderosians “have made repeated good faith efforts to resolve this matter without the necessity of litigation, the defendants have taken an untenable and unsupported position that Plaintiffs’ master recording and composition from which the Lucifer main title theme was taken are somehow owned by Warner Bros., and that Plaintiffs have no ownership interest or rights therein.”
The complaint claims that the Marderosians, who also work under the names The Mardos and Heavy Young Heathens, were approached about helping to write the “Lucifer” theme song in October 2015 by composer Marco E. Beltrami — also named as a defendant in the suit — who was “desperate” and “not able to capture the essence of what Warner Bros. and NS Pictures were looking for in the main title of the series.”
The Marderosians claim that they agreed to step in and write a musical theme, in exchange for co-writer credits. They were also to receive an on-screen credit and retain all of the publishing rights to the composition should the track be accepted for the series, according to the lawsuit.
While a six-second excerpt from the master recording was chosen for the main title theme, the lawsuit alleges, Beltrami didn’t tell Warner Bros. and NS Pictures of his agreement with the Marderosians, passing the composition off as his own.
“To date, however, Plaintiffs have not received their promised title card (or, for that matter, any) credit in any episode of the Series using the Lucifer Theme, nor have they received any compensation or portion of any payments that may have been made” in connection with the theme song, the lawsuit alleges.
Warner Bros. had no comment for TheWrap on the lawsuit.
Alleging copyright infringement, breach of contract and fraud/deceit, the suit seeks unspecified damages.
Pamela Chelin contributed to this report.