The band Heavy Young Heathens accused U.S. Olympic figure skating pair Alexa Knierim and Brandon Frazier of using its music without permission in a routine at the Beijing Winter Olympics, according to a lawsuit filed Thursday.
The group is suing the duo, NBC and U.S. Figure Skating, for copyright violations over the pair skating to the band’s version of “House of the Rising Sun.”
Heavy Young Heathens members Robert and Aron Marderosian claimed that while “House of the Rising Sun” is based on a folk song, their rendition “is a signature song of theirs throughout the world” ― due in part to its inclusion in the movie “The Magnificent Seven” and in Ford car ads. (A version by the Animals became a rock hit in the 1960s.)
In the lawsuit, which was posted by Reuters, the Marderosian brothers allege they were not contacted by the skaters, U.S. Figure Skating, NBC and other broadcast platforms for the event. They also said that broadcasters failed to include a specific credit for them in a chyron that noted only “House of the Rising Sun.”
“These violations cause great harm to the value of [the Marderosians] command for such a well known piece of their recording catalog, and insults the integrity of their professional reputation. While [the defendants] are all profiting from the revenue the 2022 Winter Olympics generate, [the Marderosians] have been and continue to be deprived of what their creation ‘House of the Rising Sun’ earns them per license,” the lawsuit reads.
HuffPost didn’t immediately hear back from NBC and a rep for the skaters in a request for comment.
Knierim and Frazier stood in 11th place in the pairs before Saturday’s free skate in Beijing.
The pair were part of the U.S. team that took silver in the team event, but that could be elevated to gold if Russian skater Kamila Valieva, who led the Russian team to first place, is sanctioned after testing positive for a banned drug.