SNL’s Andy Samberg and his fellow Lonely Island members and SNL writers Akiva Schaffer and Jorma Taccone are facing a copyright-infringement suit for allegedly stealing the music for the skit “Shy Ronnie,” featuring Rihanna.
They are being sued by “StarStrukk,” a production team from St. Louis made up of Aleric “Rick tha Rular” Banks and Monique “Foxx StarStrukk” Hines. Another claim by StarStrukk is that the music for “Like a Boss,” a digital short that featured Samberg and Seth Rogen, was also used without permission.
According to the New York Post, the federal filing says that “Banks has not received producer royalties for his production for ‘Like a Boss.'”
The Post also reports that Hines said she was “amazed” and “cried” after seeing Rihanna singing “Shy Ronnie.”
But an interview that the two StarStrukk musicians gave to the River Front Times in May suggests they knew their work was going to be used:
How did you land the placement with Andy Samberg on SNL?
RR: Through a connection out in Cali. Back in ’08 I submitted some tracks to them, and they chose the record that turned into “Like a Boss” on the first [the Lonely Island] album. After we established that relationship, when the time came back around again, they reached out to us to do “Shy Ronnie.'”
Are you still working with the Lonely Island?
RR: We’re still negotiating placement on their new album, Turtleneck & Chain, which is supposed to drop on my birthday, May 10. We produced a new “Shy Ronnie” track for the project that hasn’t been released yet.
So it sounds like the issue is not whether they knew that their music was going to be used, but whether the got paid.
That’s a different story.
More updates to come.