LOS ANGELES – The only child of T Rex frontman Marc Bolan filed a lawsuit Thursday against Sony for using the song Debora in its summer action hit Baby Driver, allegedly without permission.
“Inexplicably, defendants failed to obtain – or even seek – the permission of the composition’s US copyright holder Rolan Feld,” said the complaint filed in Los Angeles federal court.
“In the six weeks since Feld brought this infringement to defendant Sony’s attention, defendants have done little more than point fingers at one another – and they have neither apologized nor offered to pay Feld a reasonable license fee.”
Feld, Bolan’s son with Los Angeles singer-songwriter Gloria Jones, was a few days short of his second birthday when the charismatic glam rocker was killed in a car crash at the age of 29.
The 41-year-old won the rights to the works of T Rex three years ago and is seeking punitive damages, alleging that Sony Pictures Entertainment’s use of Debora has damaged future licensing opportunities.
The soundtrack to Edgar Wright’s Baby Driver – which has scored a 95% approval rating from more than 250 reviews collated by the Rotten Tomatoes movies website – is an integral part of the plot.
It stars Ansel Elgort (The Fault in our Stars) as a gifted getaway driver who suffers from tinnitus – ringing in his ears – and has to play music on an iPod to concentrate when he is behind the wheel.
It has taken US$140 million (RM599.1 million) worldwide against an estimated budget of less than a quarter that amount.
Debora, released in 1968, was Bolan’s first hit after forming the psychedelic folk rock band initially known as Tyrannosaurus Rex, reaching number 34 in the British singles chart.
A request for comment from Sony’s media office was not immediately answered.