Sony is being sued for using a song by glam rock band T. Rex in summer blockbuster Baby Driver "without permission".
The son of late frontman Marc Bolan has filed a lawsuit accusing the studio of copyright infringement over the use of the band’s hit Debora.
Feld Bolan won the rights to the works of his father’s band three years ago and is seeking punitive damages.
Inexplicably, defendants failed to obtain – or even seek – the permission of the composition’s US copyright holder Rolan Feld, said the complaint filed in Los Angeles federal court.
In the six weeks since Feld brought this infringement to defendant Sony’s attention, defendants have done little more than point fingers at one another – and they have neither apologised nor offered to pay Feld a reasonable license fee, it added.
Debora features on both the film and the official soundtrack to the film, which relies heavily on its music to advance its plot.
Ansel Elgort, who plays the titular driver, Baby, said the script was really all about the music.
Me and Edgar (Wright, the director) were having lunch and all we talked about was the music. And I read the script on an iPad and on top of every page was a logo, and you clicked on the logo, you heard the music, he said.
It reminded me of being in a musical.
In the film, Elgort stars as a gifted getaway driver who suffers from tinnitus, a constant ringing in his ears which is only soothed by the music playing on his iPod.
The film has taken $140m on worldwide boxoffice and its soundtrack has scored a 95% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
Debora, the song by T. Rex, was released in 1968, nine years before Bolan was killed in a car crash.
It was Bolan’s first hit after forming the psychedelic folk rock band initially known as Tyrannosaurus Rex, reaching number 34 in the British singles chart.
A request for comment from Sony was not immediately answered.