In his lawsuit, filed at the US District Court for the Central District of California yesterday (3 August), Feld’s attorney said in his complaint that Sony “inexplicably … failed to obtain—or even seek—the permission of the composition’s US copyright holder Rolan Feld, who is the son of the band’s iconic frontman Marc Bolan”.
“In the six weeks since Feld brought this infringement to Sony’s attention, [Sony] have done little more than point fingers at one another—and they have neither apologised nor offered to pay Feld a reasonable license fee.”
Baby Driver, written and directed by UK filmmaker Edgar Wright, has grossed more than $140 million on a production budget of only $34 million.
Feld says he only learned about the use of the song when a representative from Sony Music contacted him asking for a licence to use it in the film.
“In other words, at least one division of Sony had no trouble determining [Feld] was the rightful owner of the US copyright in the composition,” the lawsuit said. “[Feld] promptly informed [Sony] that the use of the composition in the film was unauthorised.”
Sony allegedly responded with a “series of conflicting explanations, claims that other parties were liable for the infringement, and requests for more time to investigate the matter”.
“After several weeks, Sony unceremoniously ceased communication with [Feld],” according to the lawsuit.