Quebec City resident sues Detroit band over use of her voice on their album

Detroit garage rockers The White Stripes, one of the most popular bands in the world, are gearing up for a major legal battle with a Quebec City resident.

Former Radio-Canada host Dominique Payette is suing the band for using a 10-second clip of her erstwhile kids’ program, 275-Allo, in one of their songs without her permission. Payette, now a broadcast journalism professor at Université Laval, claims that the incorporation of her voice, without her consent, into The White Stripes’ music constitutes a violation of her privacy as guaranteed by the Quebec Charter of Rights and the Quebec Civil Code.

Payette has filed suit in Quebec Superior Court, asking for $70,000 in damages and an injunction against the sale of the 2002 album De Stijl, on which the song in question first appeared.

Despite the fact that the song was released six years ago, the former talk show host did not hear it, nor was she aware of its existence, until earlier this year. According to interviews she conducted with several news sources, Payette was incensed by the out-of-context use of a clip from her call-in program, which contains a young girl talking in French about “the first time.”

Payette contends that, removed from its original context and re-set within a bawdy blues-rock song, the conversation takes on a sexual connotation that was entirely lacking from the actual dialogue.

It is not known whether either member of The White Stripes speaks French.

Payette did not respond to QCT inquiries by press time.