UPDATE: Commercial music producer Eric Robertson made a statement today about a Nickelodeon ad that allegedly ripped off a Tobacco song. He told Stereogum that he was originally commissioned to write the music for the Nickelodeon video, saying, “The reference track obviously was ‘Creepy Phone Calls.’ I produced seven different songs/versions in a similar style to use for the vid, but I wouldn’t rip it off so apparently they found someone else who would. It isn’t Nickelodeon’s fault. Nickelodeon hired out to an ad agency and the agency made all the calls. I won’t rip stuff off just to get a check.”
Tobacco took to Twitter to respond to Robertson,
Not sure how many realize, but I want to be open w you – this was never about nickelodeon – I just wanted you all to start saying “scrote”
— TOBACCO (@maniacmeat) August 20, 2014
before tweeting a Nickelodeon-inspired promo graphic for his September tour.
See us on tour in September pic.twitter.com/BRkI4ZeioE
— TOBACCO (@maniacmeat) August 21, 2014
Nickelodeon seems to be up to something. A new promo for Nickelodeon’s Animation Studio features background music that bears an uncanny resemblance to electronica artist Tobacco’s track, “Creepy Phone Calls.”
Vice sat down with Thomas Fec aka Tobacco of Black Moth Super Rainbow to investigate the ‘ripping off.’Fec allegedly received an email with the promo video and a congratulations from a friend who believed he was working with Nickelodeon, which he most definitely isn’t. The distinctive mono synth of his “Creepy Phone Calls” track can be heard in the promo video, though Fec never signed a contract.
Nevertheless, he seemed pretty chill about the whole thing, “I kinda don’t care…The only thing that bothers me is that they’ve cut what I’ve done and just like they’ve made it so cheap sounding.” Fec doesn’t plan to take any legal action. Viacom has since taken down the Nickelodeon promo from the web. Public shaming seems to have proved more powerful than a copyright lawsuit.