Eye of the tiger
Newt Gingrich has been sued for using the song "Eye of the Tiger" at campaign events. Image from Wikimedia Commons.

Frankie Sullivan of Survivor, the rock band from the 1980s that had a huge hit with the song “Eye of the Tiger,” is suing Newt Gingrich. Gingrich has been using the song without the band’s permission.

Watching them all with the eye of the lawyer

Republicans are on the campaign trail, trying to secure the nomination of their party. Among them, Newt Gingrich is appearing at debates and rallies, trying to rise up to the challenge of his rivals. He’s been using the song “Eye of the Tiger,” according to Time magazine, as his entry music but unfortunately for him, one of the song’s writers has been watching with the eye of his lawyer. The song was written for use in the third “Rocky” film and was the band’s single biggest hit.

Frank Sullivan, also called Frankie Sullivan, who co-wrote the song with bandmate Jim Peterik in 1982, has filed a lawsuit in federal court against Gingrich. The suit seeks, according to Rolling Stone, an injunction against Gingrich using the song at any of his rallies or speeches, as Sullivan doesn’t want anyone to get the impression that he endorses Gingrich as a candidate.

Second suit against Gingrich in days

Gingrich has also, according to Rolling Stone, been similarly sued by the band The Heavy, as Gingrich has been using their song “How Do You Like Me Now?” at events as well, which does not please the band. The Heavy, through their publishing company Third Side Music, have issued Gingrich a cease and desist letter, ordering him to discontinue use of the song.

Sullivan and his publishing company Rude Music have lodged the suit for copyright infringement, asking for damages as well as the injunction against unauthorized use, according to The Guardian.

Every campaign year

Plenty of artists have found politicians using their songs and unleashed the lawyers to compel them to knock it off.

Michelle Bachmann, according to Rolling Stone, was sued by Tom Petty for unauthorized use of his song “American Girl,” and also by Katrina and the Waves, for using their song “Walking on Sunshine.”

Tom Petty also sued George W. Bush for using his song “I Won’t Back Down,” according to the Daily Mail. John McCain was sued by Jackson Browne in 2008 for using his song “Running on Empty,” and asked by John Mellencamp to stop using two of his songs. Sarah Palin used the song “Barracuda” by the band Heart, who stated their opposition to her use in the press.

Barack Obama was told by R&B legend Sam Moore to stop using “Hold On, I’m Coming” at campaign events.

Angela Merkel, chancellor of Germany, was also issued a cease and desist by the Rolling Stones, after she used their song “Angie” during campaign events, according to The Guardian.



The Guardian

Rolling Stone

The Daily Mail: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2094151/Newt-Gingrich-sued-stealing-Eye-Tiger-song-political-events.html

Rolling Stone: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/newt-gingrich-ordered-to-stop-using-how-you-like-me-now-20120128

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