Qantas sued over alleged misuse of music video

SYDNEY, Australia - Singer Megan Washington has accused Qantas of misleading or deceptive conduct after a video of her singing I Still Call Australia Home was widely played to promote the airline.

Qantas sued over alleged misuse of music video

SYDNEY, Australia – Singer Megan Washington has accused Qantas of misleading or deceptive conduct after a video of her singing I Still Call Australia Home was widely played to promote the airline.

The ARIA-winning singer has launched legal action seeking substantial damages over allegedly unauthorised use of a recording of her one-off performance at the airline’s 90th anniversary bash.

The function was just days after Washington’s debut album, I Believe You Liar, won her the best female artist and breakthrough artist at the 2010 ARIA Awards.

As part of her claim, her lawyers have sought access to the carrier’s contracts with basketballer Andrew Bogut, Formula 1 drivers Mark Webber and Daniel Ricciardo, Olympian Cathy Freeman and model Miranda Kerr.

They have also demanded copies of agreements between Qantas and former Silverchair frontman Daniel Johns, who recently composed and recorded a song, Atlas, to promote the airline.

A mediation between the parties is scheduled in Sydney on Monday.

The video in question was used for up to a year after it was recorded, appearing on the Qantas YouTube channel, the company website and as in-flight entertainment.

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Ms Washington alleges the use was unauthorised, and claims by promoting the song as they did, Qantas misled the public into believing the airline had her approval and support.

In a ruling from a preliminary hearing, handed down last week, Federal Circuit Court judge Nick Nicholls refused Washington’s lawyers access to the contracts of high-profile Qantas ambassadors.

But the judge agreed the airline should hand over various documents relating to Daniel Johns, as well as information on the amount it pays to use other artists’ music on its YouTube channel, information she sought to help calculate any royalties she might be owed.

Ms Washington – who headlined a recent Virgin Australia advertising campaign – was ordered to hand over documents to Qantas including her agreements with some sponsors, and also any recording contracts and conditions attached to them.

Lawyers for Qantas sought access to her contract with rival Virgin on the grounds use of the song had provided beneficial exposure and had enabled her to negotiate a better sponsorship deal with them, but the judge refused this part of the application.

A one-time mentor on reality show The Voice, Ms Washington is currently in London, recording a new album due out late this year or early next.

Lawyers for Ms Washington and a spokeswoman for Qantas declined to comment ahead of Monday’s scheduled mediation.

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