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War Goes Nuclear on Pepsi -- You Stole Our Song!

9/1/2010 7:19 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

The guys from War claim Pepsi stole their "signature song" for a national ad campaign ... and now the band is opening a $10 million can of whoop ass to make things right.

0901_war_pepsi_EX

Ironically, it's all over the song "Why Can't We Be Friends?" -- which, according to a lawsuit filed in L.A. County Superior Court, is currently being used in an ad campaign for Pepsi Max.

According to War, the band "did not consent to the use of their performance" in the spot -- and claim the commercial is a "deliberate violation" of their licensing arrangements.

War ain't cheap -- the band wants more than $10 million in damages.

Calls to Pepsi have not been returned.

59 COMMENTS

No Avatar
31.

Eagle171    

PepsiCo is liberal-funding TRASH. I hope WAR prevails against these idiots.

1420 days ago
32.

mark    

who cares

aright aright

if they didn't get the consent (meaning money) then they should pay. a couple of hundred should do?

in any case come on.. pepsi people.. pay attention or use something better and of course pay for it.

ok?

good

1420 days ago
33.

marcia    

I don't even get how anyone thinks they can get away with not paying the original artists for the use of their work.

1420 days ago
34.

ARCADIAN    

War just a bunch of old men looking to cash out.

isnt the stature of a song deem public domain after so many years??

War will lose big time they wont see a dime plus they wont even get to see there day in court.

they only had like 3 good songs anyways

1420 days ago
35.

VickiC    

Didn't Pepsi use the same song in a similar commercial with the Pepsi and Coke guys a few years ago? Maybe they thought that since they bought the rights to the song then, they still had them. If not, I hope War wins this one - big corporations need to learn to respect artists' rights.

1420 days ago
36.

Raejean    

Go get 'em, bros!

1420 days ago
37.

VickiC    

Arcadian, songs don't go into the public domain until at least 75 years after the original copyright date. Even if a song was cerated at an earlier date, the public domain date is based on the copyright. A good example is "Happy Birthday to You". The melody was written in 1893 (with different lyrics) and the birthday lyrics in 1912 - but it wasn't copyrighted until 1935. So until this year, anyone performing the song for profit had to pay royalties. The current owners of the copyright, Warner Chappell Music, claim the copyright doesn't run out until 2030, but that seems to go against standard copyright law.

1420 days ago
38.

wackyjacky    

they stole the song for a reason


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BwMNpDVfKW8

1420 days ago
39.

Carvey    

Coke screwed up when they reformulated their recipe and called it New Coke. Coke drinkers revolted and Coke switched back. Pepsi reformulated their recipe and just continued calling it Pepsi to avoid the backlash Coke experienced. That stuff they now sell as Pepsi tastes nothing like Pepsi. Thus the Cola Wars have ended and Coke has won. Way to commit corporate suicide, Pepsi.

1420 days ago
40.

MIDNIGHT TOKER    

retro pepsi rules,
War was good back in the umm 70's

1420 days ago
41.

ylg    

What?! Did Pepsi think they were all dead. If they sang on the record, they deserve to be paid.

1420 days ago
42.

CAM    

Pepsi isn't retarded. I'm sure they had the song approved before they used it. A big company has no need to "steal" music for marketing. This story is retarded and one sided. TMZ couldnt even get ahold to pepsi to get their side!!

PEPSI beats coke any day of the week!

1420 days ago
43.

nisiek    

YOU DONT F WITH WAR!! BEST BAD OF THE 70'S...I cannot stand how these advertising agencies corrupt such great music and water it down...and then pretend its new and better...WAR RULES...and their songs are ETERNAL AND UNIQUE AND NOONE SHOULD MESS WITH A WAR SONG!!!

1420 days ago
44.

TheTruth    

Pepsi isn't retarded. I'm sure they had the song approved before they used it. A big company has no need to "steal" music for marketing. This story is retarded and one sided. TMZ couldnt even get ahold to pepsi to get their side!!
_____________________________________________

You don't have a clue about what you're saying! It's done all of the time, by whoever. If War finds out and goes after them, they'll pay (probably not 10 mill.). Most time artist never even discovers that their music has been stolen. Artist do it all of the time to each other knowing that chances are that they will have to pay sooner or later and sometimes never. Depends on how adept an artist is keeping track of his music.

1420 days ago
45.

Traci    

Umm yes - only 2 of the original members have passed away. The other founding members are still alive and touring. As a matter of fact I believe some of their children are now playing with them. Either way it doesnt matter if the original members are alive or not. They would still need to get permission from their estate!

1420 days ago
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