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Entertainment Neil Young sues Trump campaign for using his music 'as theme song'

18:05  05 august  2020
18:05  05 august  2020 Source:   news.sky.com

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Neil Young is suing Donald Trump's re-election campaign for copyright infringement, alleging that his music has been used at the president's rallies without his permission.

Donald Trump wearing a suit and tie: Neil Young is suing the Trump campaign over the use of his songs © Getty Neil Young is suing the Trump campaign over the use of his songs

The 74-year-old star said that he could not allow his work to be used as a "theme song for a divisive, un-American campaign of ignorance and hate".

In a complaint filed in a New York court, Young objected to Rockin' In The Free World and Devil's Sidewalk being played "numerous times at rallies and political events for the entertainment and amusement of those attending".

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Young said the Trump campaign played both songs at a rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on 20 June, which controversially went ahead despite concerns over the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

The lawsuit states 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 songs at any "public political event".

The former member of Buffalo Springfield said he has "continuously" complained about Mr Trump's use of his songs since 2015, but he has been "willfully ignored".

a man wearing a hat: Young's lawsuit says his music is being used as a 'theme song' for Trump's 'divisive' campaign (below) © Reuters Young's lawsuit says his music is being used as a 'theme song' for Trump's 'divisive' campaign (below)

Young said his first complaint was in connection with the use of Rockin' In The Free World at Mr Trump's original announcement that he was running for president in June 2015.

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Donald Trump standing in front of a crowd: You Can't Always Get What You Want was played at a recent Trump rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma © Other You Can't Always Get What You Want was played at a recent Trump rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma

The complaint claimed the Trump campaign "willfully proceeded" to play the songs "despite its knowledge that a license is required to do so".

Young's lawyers added: "This complaint is not intended to disrespect the rights and opinions of American citizens, who are free to support the candidate of their choosing.

"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."

The Canadian-born singer, who is now a US citizen, is seeking damages of up to $150,000 (£114,300) per infringement.

The Trump campaign has not yet made any comment on the lawsuit.

It comes after the Trump campaign was warned earlier this summer that it could face legal action if it continues to use songs by The Rolling Stones.

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Last month, dozens of artists including Aerosmith, Green Day, Mick Jagger and Elton John signed an open letter calling on politicians to obtain permission before playing their music at rallies and events.


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Neil Young files copyright infringement lawsuit against Trump campaign .
Neil Young is officially taking the president's 2020 campaign to court. Young has filed a copyright infringement lawsuit in New York federal court against President Trump's campaign for using his songs at its rallies, with the complaint saying he "in good conscience cannot allow his music to be used as a 'theme song' for a divisive, un-American campaign of ignorance and hate," according to The Hollywood Reporter. The rock star has repeatedly expressed his disapproval of the Trump campaign's use of his songs, including "Rockin' in the Free World," which USA Today notes the president has played at events going back to his June 2015 campaign announcem

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