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Ownership of “Friday” Song and Video in Dispute

On Behalf of | Jun 24, 2011 | Intellectual Property |

“It’s Friday, Friday/Gotta get down on Friday/Everybody’s lookin’ forward to the weekend.” So sang Rebecca Black in her viral love it/hate it music video. Now, Rebecca Black and her mother, Georgina Marquez Kelly, have filed a lawsuit against Ark Music Factory, accusing the company of copyright infringement and unlawful exploitation of publicity rights.

Black sang the hit song “Friday,” which was produced by Ark Music Factory. Her lawsuit alleges that Ark Music Factory did not furnish her with the master tapes of her song and video as originally agreed. According to New Jersey Newsroom, the suit also states that Ark has been exploiting the song on YouTube, iTunes and Amazon and is offering an unauthorized ringtone of the song on its website. Ark has also been advertising the singer as recording only for them.

Ark Music Factory had been selling a video featuring the song to YouTube viewers. Black and her mother had YouTube take down the video.

Ark says that they have the full permission of the artist and the copyright holder to use the song and the video. They insist that they are the reason for the song’s success and for the 167,370,354 people that have seen the video.

Black’s mother, Georgia Marquez Kelly, said she paid $4,000 to Ark to produce the song and that the agreement gave Black sole ownership and control of the song including the master copies of both the recording and the video. The agreement was never finalized by a court. Ark says that any attempt by Black to copyright the song in her name would be copyright infringement on her part and they would take legal action.


Rebecca Black ‘Friday’ video ends long run on YouTube (New Jersey Newsroom