The AP is reporting today that the Smashing Pumpkins have filed a suit against Virgin Records, alleging the label allowed the band's name and music to be used in the most recent Pepsi Stuff promotion without their permission.
Virgin put out the Smashing Pumpkins' music for more than 17 years, but the only active agreement between the two parties, the lawsuit claimed, is a deal granting Virgin permission to sell digital downloads of the band's songs. The agreement does not give Virgin the right to use the band in promotional campaigns to sell outside products, the lawsuit said.Does anyone know what part of the promotion they were involved with? The big Super Bowl spot featured Justin Timberlake and his song "Lovestoned."
The band members said they would "never grant such authority to Virgin, or any other entity."
From this story, it's really not clear what the dispute is about, specifically, although it's possible that the band took offense to some Virgin titles in their catalog featuring "redeem with Pepsi Stuff" tags next to them on Amazon.com.
For the Pumpkins' most recent album, "Zeigeist," the band split with Virgin for Reprise Records, a subsidiary of Warner Music Group, however both of the band's labels were part of the "Pepsi Stuff" promotion. UPDATE: Bill Corgan spoke to Billboard about the suit, not really illuminating what exactly the offending promotion was, but elaborating their position a bit:
Corgan says he has been feuding for years with Virgin over the handling of the Pumpkins' back catalog, but that the Pepsi/Amazon.com promotion "crosses the Rubicon. You're going to see more of this playing fast and loose with the rules, hoping they don't get caught. At face value, it's not a huge deal. But in terms of precedent, it is, because there will be much more of this coming."And The Pumpkins put up a release on their site about it too, much to the same effect.
[Daily Swarm / AP]