A lawsuit was filed this week alleging that Warner Bros used the work of composers Robert and Aron Marderosian without an agreement for the theme song to the television show Lucifer. The lawsuit was first reported on by The Wrap.
From the court filing:
Plaintiffs Robert J. Marderosian and Aron M. Marderosian (known as the "Mardos") wrote, recorded and produced the original musical composition and master recording from which the main title theme of the hit television series Lucifer is excerpted. Although all defendants acknowledge that the Mardos wrote and performed the Lucifer main title theme, defendants Warner Bros. and NS Pictures have commercially used, broadcast and exploited the Lucifer main title theme without any agreement with or license from Plaintiffs. The Lucifer main title theme has been commercially used, broadcast and exploited by during the first two seasons of Lucifer without affording any credit or compensation to Plaintiffs.
Defendants in the lawsuit include both Warner Bros Entertainment and Marco E. Beltrami, the latter of whom the suit alleges asked the Mardos for "assistance in composing and producing an opening theme track for a forthcoming dramatic weekly television series produced by Warner Bros. and NS Pictures titled Lucifer," adding that Beltrami "was not able to capture the essence of what Warner Bros. and NS Pictures were looking for in the main title theme for the Series, and each of the musical works previously composed and submitted by Beltrami to Warner Bros. and NS Pictures had been rejected."
With the deadline "fast approaching" and Beltrami "out of ideas," the suit claims that the Mardos agreed to "write, record, produce, mix and edit a musical theme" as long as they were "credited as co-writers of any resultant theme track based on their work and that ownership of the music publishing of the theme track would be split three ways among Aron Marderosian, Robert Marderosian and Tristan Beltrami." If the track was selected for the show, the Mardos, according to the lawsuit, would receive a share of all fees and a title credit reading "Lucifer Main Title Theme Performed by Heavy Young Heathens."
However, the suit goes on to say that "Beltrami failed to inform Warner Bros. or NS Pictures of his agreement with Plaintiffs," and that he "fraudulantly" represented the composition as his own work for which he "owned and controlled all right, title and interest therein."
The plaintiffs claim to have made good faith efforts to resolve the matter without litigation, and now are suing for various flavors of damages, legal fees, profits allegedly owed, and a temporary restraining order preventing further use of the composition until a deal is worked out. You can read the entire filing here, if you're so inclined.