Monday, August 18, 2008

Browne Sues McCain For "Running On Empty"

Jackson Browne sues John McCain


Rock star Jackson Browne has sued U.S. presidential candidate John McCain for copyright infringement, accusing the presumptive Republican nominee of using the singer's 1977 hit "Running on Empty" in a campaign ad without permission.

The suit, filed on Thursday in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, also names the Republican National Committee and the Ohio Republican Party as defendants. It seeks a permanent injunction against further use of Browne's music and at least $75,000 in damages.

The campaign spot mocks McCain's Democratic rival for the White House, Barack Obama, for suggesting the nation conserve gasoline through proper tire inflation, with Browne's most famous song, "Running on Empty," playing in the background.

The suit claims use of the song without Browne's permission is a copyright violation and a breach of the U.S. Lanham Act by falsely implying Browne is associated with and endorses McCain's bid for president.

It also says use of Browne's voice in the ad violates the performer's so-called right of publicity under California law.

Browne's lawyer, Lawrence Iser, said his client is "a well-known, lifelong liberal activist and supporter of Democratic candidates, and use of his song and his voice in a commercial bashing Barack Obama is anathema to Jackson."

[ 5:27 ]

McCain’s copyright problem: oh, the hypocrisy


In fact, McCain supporters have an unnerving habit of violating copyright, which is more than ironic; it’s hypocritical, given McCain’s technology policy:

John McCain Will Protect The Creative Industries From Piracy.

The entertainment industry is both a vital sector of the domestic economy and among the largest U.S. exporters. While the Internet has provided tremendous opportunity for the creators of copyrighted works, including music and movies, to distribute their works around the world at low cost, it has also given rise to a global epidemic of piracy. John McCain supports efforts to crack down on piracy, both on the Internet and off.

Add to Browne, violations of songs by John Mellencamp, Abba, Frankie Vallie – and Saturday Night Live. Just days ago, the LA Times reported that McCain’s campaign lifted a clip from the “Wayne’s World” sketch for a Web ad.

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