News & Current Affairs

August 16, 2008

Browne sues McCain over song use

Browne sues McCain over song use

Jackson Browne

Browne is seeking more than $75,000 in damages

Singer Jackson Browne is suing US Republican presidential candidate John McCain for using one of his songs without permission.

Browne, 59, claims the use of hit song Running on Empty in an advert was an infringement of copyright and will lead people to conclude he endorses McCain.

The singer is seeking more than $75,000 (£40,000) in damages.

Robert Bennett, chairman of the Ohio Republican party, called the legal action a “big to-do about nothing”.

The action, which also names the Ohio and national Republican committees, says Browne is a lifelong liberal who is well-known for being “an advocate for social and environmental justice”.

Campaign finance records reveal that the singer contributed $2,300 (£1,240) to Obama’s presidential campaign last year.

Permanent injunction

The track was used in an advert which mocks Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama “for suggesting that the country conserve gas through proper tyre inflation”.

The advert was pulled following Browne’s objection.

Browne is also seeking a permanent injunction prohibiting the use of Running on Empty in any form by the McCain campaign.

McCain spokesman Brian Rogers claims the advert was not a product of the Republican presidential candidate’s campaign.

But Browne’s action contends that the Ohio Republican party released the advert on behalf of McCain and the Republican National Committee.

Browne released the song Running on Empty – and an album by the same name – in 1977.

The US presidential election takes place on 4 November.

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