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Gingrich Sued Again For Using Copyrighted Music At Political Rallies

(Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Just days after receiving a cease and desist order for using “How Do You Like Me Now?” from the British band The Heavy, Newt Gingrich is looking at another legal problem, this time from using the song “Eye of the Tiger”.

Rude Music Inc., owned by Frank Sullivan,co-author of the song, filed suit in Illinois federal courts claiming Gingrich’s use of the song as introduction music at various political rallies is a violation of the song’s copyright.  The suit even claims that Gingrich knowingly and willfully violated the copyright, saying Gingrich is “sophisticated and knowledgeable” of copyright laws.

Most lawsuits dealing with politicians using copyrighted songs deal with actual commercial advertisements, not public rallies.  And most of the lawsuits never went to actual trial, reaching some deal to avoid a full case.  The legality of playing music in a public rally like this has never been fully tested, so it is uncertain what judgement would be reached if Gingrich allows this to go to trial.  Recently, Mitt Romney cited the “Fair Use” section of copyright laws to defend his use of a video clip of Tom Brokaw copyrighted by NBC.  “Fair Use” allows the use of copyrighted materials without permission for the purposes of criticism, commentary, news reporting, research, and teaching. 

At this time, neither Gingrich, his campaign Newt 2012 Inc, nor the American Conservative Union, all of whom are named in the lawsuit, have made an official statement regarding the suit or Gingrich’s use of the copyrighted song. 

via MSNBC and Billboard

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