Jackson Browne sues McCain over song use

Thu Aug 14, 2008 8:21pm EDT
 
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By Jonathan Cohen

NEW YORK (Billboard) - Singer-songwriter Jackson Browne is suing Republican presidential nominee John McCain and the Republican party for using his song "Running on Empty" in a recent TV commercial.

In the suit, filed in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, Browne claims McCain and the party did not obtain permission to use the song for an ad in which "Senator McCain and the Republicans mock Democratic candidate for president Barack Obama for suggesting that the country conserve gas through proper tire inflation."

Browne, a lifelong Democrat, is seeking unspecified damages as well as a permanent injunction prohibiting the use of "Running on Empty" in any form by the McCain campaign.

"Not only have Senator McCain and his agents plainly infringed Mr. Browne's copyright in 'Running on Empty,' but the federal courts have long held that the unauthorized use of a famous singer's voice in a commercial constitutes a false endorsement and a violation of the singer's right of publicity," Lawrence Iser, Browne lawyer, said.

Reuters/Billboard

 
<p>Republican presidential candidate Senator John McCain pauses for applause while speaking at the National Council of La Raza convention at San Diego's Convention Center July 14, 2008. REUTERS/Fred Greaves</p>