Feist sued by Seven and Eight
Newswire—Attorneys representing two co-plaintiffs, Seven and Eight, filed suit against singer Leslie Feist (stagename Feist) yesterday in Circuit Court.
The suit comes nearly one year after the release of Feist’s full length album, The Reminder, which graced many music critics’ “Best of 2007” lists. Although also a member of Canadian rock band Broken Social Scene, Feist is best known for her highest selling song, “1 2 3 4,” which was featured in an Apple iTunes commercial in the summer of 2007. It is this song that sparked the lawsuit from Seven and Eight, as well as an injunction to stop the song from being played in public places and on the radio.
A representative for Eight told journalists outside the courtroom, “Thanks to this song, anyone who has a radio or television set knows about One, Two, Three, Four, Five, Six, Nine and Ten. What about my client? This is a blatant case of discrimination in order to profit off of some contrived line-verse form.”
The suit cites the Numbers with Disabilities Act, which provides discrimination protection for numbers that are not as divisible or attractive as others.
Neither Seven nor Eight have been shy when it comes to the courts. In 1995, Seven filed a defamation lawsuit against New Line Cinema for its feature film, Se7en, starring Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman, claiming that the name as well as the use of the numeral “7” implicated the plaintiff with “gruesome and immoral acts.” The suit was settled out of court for an undisclosed amount. Seven has attempted similar suits against the Prince song “7” and the television series 7th Heaven. Both were dismissed when the courts ruled “Plaintiff [Seven] failed to produce evidence showing the existence of essential elements of each claim.”
Eight filed a similar suit in 2002 against pop punk singer Avril Lavigne, in the wake of her single, “Sk8er Boi,” which peaked at the #10 spot on the Billboard Top 100 chart. The suit called for back payment of royalties from the song. The court ultimately ruled in favor of Eight, citing that Lavigne’s lack of creativity was no excuse for exploiting innocent numbers. Lavigne was also issued a court order to complete 30 hours of elementary-school spelling lessons.
Given their combined histories and the expertise of their legal teams, it seems the two might combine for a formidable opponent in this new case. Seven and Eight are seeking unknown damages, though legal experts suspect the awards could range from seven to eight figures, out of respect for the plaintiffs.
Feist was not available for comment, nor was Eight, whose attorney said her client was too distraught to discuss the case. “You have to factor in that Two and Four are closely related to my client. Obviously, my client feels ashamed and disgraced to be divided out of such a winning combination when Two and Four are profiting from Ms. Feist’s song.”
Could this winning combination in “1 2 3 4” forever change how we look at the world? Seven thinks so. In a statement to the press, the number said, “It used to be that children learned their A-B-Cs and 1-2-3s in the right order. Now a whole generation of hip and culturally-aware children will question my place in the order of things, if I have a place at all.”
If successful, Seven is primed to shape future policy and attitudes. In fact, the co-plaintiffs have publicly vowed they would put their award money to good use by raising awareness about all numbers, especially the odd ones. “It’s not about the money,” continued Seven in the statement, before quoting the defendant. “’Money can’t buy you back the love that you had then.’”