Rebecca Black's Fight for 'Friday'
"Friday" singer Rebecca Black and her mother, Georgina Marquez Kelly, are accusing the L.A.-based record label Ark Music Factory of copyright infringement and unlawful exploitation of publicity rights, according to Rolling Stone.
Black's and Kelly's lawyer, Brian Schall, sent a letter to Ark on March 29 outlining the argument. The letter reportedly asserts Marquez Kelly signed an agreement with Ark in November that grants Black complete ownership of “Friday,” but the company has yet to provide her with the master recordings of the song or the music video. According to Rolling Stone, Kelly paid $4,000 to produce the song, not the $2,000 that has been widely reported.
Ark exploited Black’s likeness and song and created an unauthorized “Friday” ringtone, the letter reportedly continues. It also claims that Ark was advertising Black as an exclusive artist on their website, but she has since been removed from that section; banner ads on the homepage instead promote “Butterflies,” a song by Ark artist Alana Lee.
Ark Music Factory founder Patrice Wilson denied most of the letter’s allegations, saying, “I have met with Rebecca Black’s mom and everything is fine. She will get the masters and the song. They can have it all.”
But Barry Rothman, Ark’s lawyer, said the agreement Kelly signed in November was not court-approved, so Kelly in fact does not own the rights to “Friday.”
Clarence Jey, Wilson’s partner at Ark Music Factory, said that Ark promoted Black and distributed her song with Kelly’s consent, until “Friday” started earning real money. He also said Wilson has denied him access to the Ark website, and Rolling Stone reports that Wilson recently hired his own lawyer.
Black, meanwhile, seems to be looking forward even as she contends this past deal; she recently signed with L.A.-based DB Entertainment Group.