Band Accuses Porsche Commercial of Copying “Jungle” Rhythms


A new lawsuit against a Porsche commercial makes a case that sounds a lot like the one made against Pharrell Williams and Robin Thicke, who were found liable for copyright infringement for copying the instrumentation and feel of an old Marvin Gaye song in their megahit, “Blurred Lines.”

Williams and Thicke have appealed the 2015 federal jury verdict. Meanwhile, the rock band X Ambassadors is complaining that a Porsche 718 Cayman commercial infringes its song “Jungle” by using a similar percussive sound.

Instead of licensing “Jungle,” which itself has been featured in a Beats by Dre commercial, the advertising agency that created the Porsche commercial copied “several quantitatively and qualitatively important portions of ‘Jungle,’” the band says in a complaint filed Nov. 25 in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee.

Specifically, the complaint brought by Songs Music Publishing LLC, the employee-owned music publishing concern that holds the copyright in the “Jungle” composition, points to the kick drum beating on the 1 and 3, combined with snare and handclaps on the back beat, as well as “organ stabs” on the downbeat.

“The sheer number of substantial similarities between ‘Jungle’ and the 718 Advertisement negate any suggestion of independent creation,” the complaint says.

The complaint also takes a swipe at the advertising industry in general, saying “it is well known in the music industry that advertising agencies are notorious for using pre-existing music to create advertisements, and attempting to get away with doing so without properly licensing or paying for the intellectual property they have used.”