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October 9, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Twentieth Century Fox and Universal Pictures are embroiled in a lawsuit with the musicians’ union over use of the theme from The Simpsons at the Universal Studios’ amusement park in California. The American Federation of Musicians filed a lawsuit in U.S. district court alleging that use of the music for the Simpsons roller-coaster ride violates the union’s contract with Fox, which calls for additional payments when the music is used for most additional purposes. Fox, however, contends that the agreement allows for the music to be used for “promotional” purposes, which, it says, is the nature of its agreement with Universal — all of which begs the question, is Universal not paying Fox for the right to use the Simpsons characters at its park, and how did it come about that a company that is a corporate sibling of NBC is promoting a television show airing on rival Fox TV if money is not changing hands in the deal? The AFM’s lawsuit seeks payment and damages for the musicians who originally recorded the music — presumably before the series began airing on Fox 24 years ago.