I’d Like To Teach The World To Sing (A Song We Didn’t Pay For)

The AP's Jennifer Quinn on what sounds like an open and shut case of copyright infringement.

Coca-Cola Co. may be making an unsigned London ska band famous in Argentina, but the band isn't happy about it.


The band, called 7 Seconds of Love, says Coke used their song "Ninja" and the video that goes with it without permission in a South American commercial for Coca-Cola Light.

The band learned of the advertisement when a fan asked about it. The discovery, lead singer Joel Veitch said, led to "righteous fury followed by deep irritation."

"Initially, we didn't think much about it, because we don't get Argentine television here," Veitch said. "It was when it turned up on the Internet that we went, `Oh my god.'"

"To sound like us is OK. To look like us is OK. But it's the two together where it becomes a problem," he said.

The band doesn't want to take Coca-Cola to court, Veitch said, and couldn't afford a legal battle anyway because of their "extremely shallow pockets." Also, all the band's members have day jobs.

"The Coca-Cola Light spot in question was commissioned to a local advertising agency, Santo Buenos Aires SA, which assured Coca-Cola Argentina that each element of the advertisement was original," Kelly Brooks, a spokesman for Atlanta-based Coca-Cola, said Wednesday.

"Coca-Cola de Argentina acted in good faith in accepting the work, but in light of the allegations has asked Santo Buenos Aires to fully research and resolve this matter."

Consider that Veitch has been commisioned to do some pretty high profile advertising stuff thanks to his widely circulated Rather Good videos, this has to be a legal blunder for the ages. The only thing I find more outrageous than Coca Cola's actions is the plight of persons dying to purchasing the song who might not be able to do so