The White Stripes are declaring war.
Jack and Meg White posted a scathing statement on their website accusing the Air Force Reserve of ripping off the band's hit "Fell in Love With a Girl" for a Super Bowl commercial.
"We believe our song was rerecorded and used without permission of the White Stripes, our publishers, label or management," the duo said. "The White Stripes takes strong insult and objection to the Air Force Reserves 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 Air Force Reserve responded to the allegation in a characteristically military way—by kicking it down the chain of command.
"In response to the claims being made today regarding the Air Force Reserve regional ad that aired in select markets during the Super Bowl, the Air Force Reserve, through its advertising agency, hired Fast Forward Music of Salt Lake City to score original music for its commercial," the Reserve said.
"There was never any intention to utilize any existing music or to sound like any music by the band White Stripes or any other musical performer. Any similarity or likeness to any other music is completely unintentional."
Michael Lee, Fast Forward's owner, tells E! News that the use of the Stripes' song as the basis for the promo was an innocent mistake committed by a freelance songwriter unaware of the similarity.
"We're just a video production house and we've got different freelancers for different forums and when the Reserve approached us, I mentioned [musician] Kim Craft. He wasn't really aware of the White Stripes song and neither was I until this morning."
The offending ad only aired one time and has since been removed from the Air Force Reserve's website. But the brouhaha was enough to put the "Seven Nation Army" rockers in a tizzy.
"The White Stripes support this nation's military, at home during times when our country needs and depends on them," the band's statement continued. "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 we plan to take strong action to stop the ad containing this music."
Craft has subsequently issued a public mea culpa for the confusion.
"It’s my responsibility, the songwriter told EW. "I’m the one who composed the music. And I had no idea it was like that [song]."
He added that if he could speak to Jack White, Craft would say he's sorry, that he "had no intention whatsoever of copying you," and would be willing to pay back the $2,000 he earned for the job.
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