According to suit Marderosians 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. The Heavy Young Heathens were outraged, that, as they believe, their music has been used as Lucifer main title theme, they have not received due consideration for this.
Therefore they brought this lawsuit to secure all available and appropriate remedies and compensation for the commercial misappropriation and use of their musical composition and recording, and to get appropriate credit as the authors and performers of the Lucifer main title theme, and to remove the main title theme from all episodes of the Lucifer series.
The factual background of the suit states that in or around late October 2015, Beltrami and his son, Tristan Beltrami, approached Marderosians to request their 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. Mardos agreed to step in to write, record, produce, mix and edit a musical theme that would likely be more acceptable to Warner Bros. provided that they would be 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, Mardos would share in any fees paid for or generated by the song.
Based on this fundamental agreement and understanding, the Mardos began writing and recording the Lucifer main title theme. Over the next several days, they wrote, recorded, produced, mixed and edited an approximately threeand-a-half minute master recording of an original musical composition under the working title “Pay The Price” a/k/a “Being Evil Has A Price” for potential use as the main title theme of the Series. The Master comprises instrumental and vocal performances by the Mardos. No other performers were involved in the creation of the Master.
In November 2015, Beltrami submitted a copy of the Master to Warner Bros. for consideration in selecting the main title theme of the Series. Warner Bros. selected a six-second excerpt from the Master for use as the main title theme of the Series (the “Lucifer Theme”). The Mardos believe Beltrami failed to inform Warner Bros. or NS Pictures of his agreement with them, or that Mardos owned and controlled the Composition and Master. Instead, Mardos believe that Beltrami passed off the Master and Composition as his own original work and fraudulently represented and warranted to NS Pictures and Warner Bros. that Beltrami owned and controlled all right, title and interest therein.
Immediately upon learning that an excerpt of their Master and Composition had been selected and approved for use as the Lucifer Theme, Mardos contacted Beltrami and his talent managers to ensure that Warner Bros. and/or NS Pictures enter into an appropriate written agreement with Mardos to provide them with compensation and credit for the Lucifer Theme. Despite Mardos’ repeated efforts to reach an agreement for the use of the Lucifer Theme, no agreement was ever concluded for the use, broadcast or other exploitation of the Master or Composition or the Lucifer Theme.
In January 2016, the Mardos agreed with Beltrami and Pianella that the writers’ portion of music publishing in the six-second Lucifer Theme only – but not the full composition “Pay The Price” a/k/a “Being Evil Has A Price” in its entirety – could be split five ways for cue sheet purposes only. In exchange for that further accommodation, it was agreed and understood that the Mardos would receive an on-screen title card credit on each episode of the Series using the Lucifer Theme as follows: “Main title theme written and performed by Heavy Young Heathens.”
Thereafter, despite repeated requests for information and documentation memorializing the parties’ agreement concerning the use and broadcast by Warner Bros. of the Lucifer Theme, no written agreement was ever entered into for use of an excerpt from the Master and Composition as the main title theme of the Series.
The Series premiered on the Fox television network on January 25, 2016. Its first season ran in the United States through April 2016 and the Series was renewed by Fox for a full 22-episode second season, which began airing domestically on September 19, 2016 and currently remains ongoing. Lucifer: The Complete First Season was released in the U.S. as well as internationally on DVD and Blu-ray disc in August 2016. Copies of all episodes broadcast to date are also being sold to consumers through major streaming services such as Amazon.com and iTunes. The Lucifer Theme was and continues to be used in most if not all episodes of the Series except for its pilot.
To date Mardos have not received their promised title card credit in any episode of the Series using the Lucifer Theme, nor have they received any compensation or portion of any payments that may have been made to Beltrami/Pianella by Warner Bros./NS Pictures in connection therewith. There is no enforceable agreement between any of the Defendants and Mardos conveying any of Mardos’ rights in and to the Composition, Master and/or Lucifer Theme to any of the Defendants.
Mardos requested temporary restraining order, preliminary and permanent injunction restraining defendants, their officers, directors, agents, employees, representatives and all persons acting in concert with them from further using, distributing, copying, exploiting or infringing the master of composition.