Can Copyright Violation Cause a Political Campaign to Run on Empty?

Singer, Jackson Browne, has filed a federal lawsuit in Los Angeles against presidential candidate, John McCain, the Republican National Committee (RNC) and the Ohio Republican Party (ORP), accusing them of copyright infringement, statutory violations, and violation of the right of publicity. He has asked for injunctive relief to prevent unauthorized use of his copyrighted musical works, damages, attorney’s fees and costs.


Brown’s alleges McCain, the RNC and the ORP ran a TV commercial with Browne’s song “Running On Empty” playing in the background, “in which McCain mocks the suggestion” of Obama “that the country can conserve gasoline by keeping their automobile tires inflated to the proper pressure.” Browne further alleges that the commercial creates the false impression that he endorses or is associated with McCain, while nothing could be further from the truth.


Obviously, candidates and their media specialists would be smart to obtain appropriate licensing for such copyrighted material in all cases, let alone those where the artist might be someone who supports their opponent.

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Posted in copyright, Intellectual property
2 comments on “Can Copyright Violation Cause a Political Campaign to Run on Empty?
  1. sandrar says:

    Hi! I was surfing and found your blog post… nice! I love your blog. 🙂 Cheers! Sandra. R.

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