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The White Stripes ‘Take Strong Insult’ to Unauthorized Use of Their Song in Air Force Super Bowl Commercial

One of the Super Bowl's dullest commercials was an Air Force Reserve recruitment ad featuring footage of snowboarding and other extreme sports set to instrumental rock music, but it's gearing up to get attention after all now that the White Stripes are protesting what they say was the unauthorized use of their song "Fell in Love With a Girl." Not only was the song not licensed, but the Stripes make it pretty clear that they wouldn't sell their song to support our country's current wars. The band posted this statement on their label Third Man Records' site last night:


"We believe our song was re-recorded and used without permission of the White Stripes, our publishers, label or management.

The White Stripes take strong insult and objection to the Air Force Reserve presenting this advertisement with the implication that we licensed one of our songs to encourage recruitment during a war that we do not support.

The White Stripes support this nation’s military, at home and during times when our country needs and depends on them. We simply don’t want to be a cog in the wheel of the current conflict, and hope for a safe and speedy return home for our troops.

We have not licensed this song to the Air Force Reserve and plan to take strong action to stop the ad containing this music."

The White Stripes provided links both to the video for "Fell in Love With a Girl" (which happens to be one of the most famous videos of all time) and to the commercial [Update: the Air Force has just removed it] so that readers can decide for themselves. Unless there are some vagaries of music publishing that we don't understand, it seems like a pretty open-and-shut case to us.

White Stripes Protest Super Bowl Ad for Air Force Reserve [NYT]
Air Force Reserve SuperBowl Ad [Afreserve]
"Fell in Love with a Girl" [YouTube]
Third Man Records [Official Site]

Photo: Malcolm Taylor/Getty Images