I woke this morning to the news that Saturday Night Live and The Lonely Island are being accused of stealing material from a St. Louis production duo. Though it pained me to do so, I had to tear down several of my Shy Ronnie wall posters. Even the homemade ones.
Producers Aleric Banks (aka Rick the Ruler) and Monique Hines allege that they submitted their music to The Lonely Island‘s album through a mutual contact. The group then stripped the lyrics to create the hits “Shy Ronnie (featuring Rihanna)” and “Like a Boss.” The producers were initially thrilled that the songs became so popular. However, when payment didn’t come through, that delight quickly morphed into the frownies.
The plaintiffs say that before the release of Samberg’s album and skits, a Universal Music Group subsidiary label sent them a “producer declaration” form. Banks filled it out by stating that as the writer and producer of “Like A Boss,” he was a 50 percent owner of the copyright. Banks says he got a response letter claiming that he had entered into an agreement with Lonely Island that only entitled him to a 25 percent copyright interest.
Nevertheless, Banks says he hasn’t received any producer royalties nor any profits from SNL‘s exploitation of his music. NBC Universal, Samberg, The Lonely Island, and Universal Republic Records are now being sued for willful copyright infringement and unjust enrichment. (THR)
NBC Universal has no comment, but it sounds like they took the contract and…. THREW IT ON THE GROUND!!!