Ellen DeGeneres Show Sued for Music Copyright Infringement

ellen dances with barack obama

The Ellen DeGeneres Show is being sued for copyright infringement by numerous record companies for using more than 1000 songs without permission during the wildly popular dance segment of the show.

The lawsuit, which was filed in U.S. District Court in Nashville on Wednesday (the same day Ellen was named the fourth judge on American Idol), claims the producers of the show are violating the Copyright Act by using pre-1972 recordings without a license, and by playing some of the most popular songs of the day, which record labels don't license for daytime television at any price.

Representatives of the recording companies asked defendants why they hadn't obtained a license to use the songs, and were told they didn't "roll that way," according to the lawsuit.

The suit states, "As sophisticated consumers of music, Defendants knew full well that, regardless of the way they rolled, under the Copyright Act, and under state law for the pre-1972 recordings, they needed a license to use the sound recordings lawfully."

A statement issued by show spokesman, Scott Rowe, says the issue does not involve Ellen, and the company has been working with the record labels for months to resolve things on "amicable and reasonable terms."

Plaintiffs include Arista Music, Atlantic Recording Corp., Capitol Records, Motown Record Company, Sony Music Entertainment, Virgin Records America and Warner Bros. Records.