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Neil Young Sues Trump Campaign For Tune Use

Neil Young Sues Trump Campaign For Tune Use

By Larry Neumeister, The Associated Press – 8-5-20

NEW YORK — Neil Young sued President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign Tuesday for copyright infringement, saying he doesn’t want his music used as a theme song for a “divisive un-American campaign of ignorance and hate.”

Neil Young performs at the BottleRock Napa Valley Music Festival at Napa Valley Expo in 2019, in Napa, Calif./Photo By Amy Harris/Invision/Ap

The Grammy-award winning Canadian-born musician filed the lawsuit through his lawyers in Manhattan federal court, seeking up to $150,000 in statutory damages for each infringement.

A message seeking comment was left with a campaign spokesperson.

The legendary singer cited repeated use of two songs: “Rockin’ in the Free World” and “Devil’s Sidewalk.”

The campaign has used the tunes numerous times at rallies and political events, including on June 20 in Tulsa, Oklahoma, the lawsuit said.

Young said he was not suing to “disrespect the rights and opinions of American citizens, who are free to support the candidate of their choosing,” the lawsuit said.

“However,” it added, “Plaintiff in good conscience cannot allow his music to be used as a ‘theme song’ for a divisive, un-American campaign of ignorance and hate.”

Young first complained about the use of the 1990 single, “Rockin’ in the Free World,” in June 2015, when the song accompanied Trump’s announcement of his presidential campaign, according to the lawsuit.

The campaign’s insistence in a statement then that it had obtained permission to use the music only proved that it was aware it needed permission, the lawsuit said.

Source:  http://digital.olivesoftware.com/Olive/ODN/TimesFreePress/shared/ShowArticle.aspx?doc=CHATTFPRESS%2F2020%2F08%2F05&entity=Ar00202&sk=9E60F2EA&mode=text

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