Neil Young Sues to Stop Donald Trump From Playing His Songs
Neil Young has sued Donald Trump for copyright infringement, Pitchfork reports, after the president's campaign featured repeated airings of his songs during political rallies.
"This complaint is not intended to disrespect the rights and opinions of American citizens, who are free to support the candidate of their choosing," according to the lawsuit, which was published on Young's official site. "However, plaintiff in good conscience cannot allow his music to be used as a 'theme song' for a divisive, un-American campaign of ignorance and hate."
Young is specifically targeting the broadcast of "Rockin' in the Free World" and "Devil's Sidewalk," saying Trump played both songs during a June 20 rally in Tulsa, Okla.
"The campaign does not now have, and did not at the time of the Tulsa rally, have a license or plaintiff's permission to play the two songs at any public political event," the complaint adds. "The campaign has willfully ignored plaintiff’s telling it not to play the songs and willfully proceeded to play the songs, despite its lack of a license and despite its knowledge that a license is required to do so."
Young recently responded on Twitter when Trump played "Rockin' in the Free World" during a July 4 event at Mount Rushmore in South Dakota. "This is not okay with me," Young said then. Trump has been using the song as part of his campaign since announcing his candidacy in 2015; Young pushed back then too.
Trump's representatives have previously told TMZ that they "paid for and obtained the legal right" to use it. Young is now asking that Trump be enjoined from playing any more of his songs and is demanding statutory damages.