Monday, July 28, 2014

'Land of Plenty' stoush continues for Pauly Fuemana's widow

Kirstine Fuemana with her children Imogen, Santos and Salvador.
Photo : Doug Sherring, Herald on Sunday

In September last year, car manufacturer Audi got in hot water over their sound-a-like use of a song very similar to Land Of Plenty by OMC (Pauly Fuemana). Audi got LA-based Kiwi Greg Johnson to create a song for their ad.

I have it on good authority that the agency who made the Audi ad tried to licence the original but decided it was too expensive.

At that time, Fuemana's widow Kirstine heard the ad on tv, saying "The thing that upset me the most is that the kids were watching TV and saw the ad and they yelled out, ‘hey Mum, they're playing Dad's song'," she said. "I rang Pauly's publishing company because they usually run these kinds of things by me and asked them what was going on. They told me it might sound like it but it wasn't Pauly's song." She was left to raise the couple's six children when Fuemana died in 2010.

Land of Plenty's co-author Alan Jansson said he "felt sick" when he heard the commercial. "It was hideous because it just sounds so much like Land of Plenty. I've produced commercials so I understand how songs can be played around with in the studio and tweaked but it just sucks."

... Lawyers for Kirstine Fuemana and Universal Music have written to Audi, pointing out what they claim are "noticeable similarities" between the soundtrack for its "Land of Plenty. Land of Quattro" advert and OMC's 1996 hit single Land of Plenty. The song featured on OMC's multi-platinum chart-topping album How Bizarre.

Yesterday's Herald On Sunday has a story that suggests the matter was not fully resolved to the satisfaction of all parties. See Pauly's widow chasing Audi over ad

The story says "[Mrs] Fuemana, 45, and copyright-holder Universal Music NZ, launched legal action against Audi over the 1996 song Land of Plenty last year, saying there were "noticeable similarities" with a "Land of Plenty. Land of Quattro" commercial.

Audi admitted it had considered using Pauly's songs, but denied copying one.

Fuemana said yesterday [Saturday] the first legal claim had petered out, but she has a new lawyer and will file a personal damages claim, including a request for compensation of an amount yet to be decided.

"Just because Paul's passed away doesn't mean that you can just go and use whatever you like."

Universal Music NZ managing director Adam Holt would not comment yesterday. Land of Plenty co-writer Alan Jansson said Audi was "disrespectful", but he would not take legal action."

The story says there are plans to make a movie based on Pauly's life, and "A documentary on Pauly, titled How Bizarre, after OMC's breakout 1995 multi-platinum album of the same name, will screen on Maori TV next month. The How Bizarre album will be re-released too." The How Bizarre album is also being remastered. Tiki Taane is also involved in helping finish an album of previously unreleased OMC tunes.

ADDED Sept 29, 2104: Dear Audi, Thanks for Stealing My Music. Sincerely, Sohn.

Pauly Fuemana. Via Audioculture

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