Neil Young Sues Trump Campaign for Playing His Music

Brenda Watkins
August 7, 2020

"However, the whistleblower can not remain clear-minded if he allows his music to be used as the main theme for a divisive and anti-American campaign of ignorance and hatred", he added.

Young was rightfully p*ssed that his music has been associated with the US President's campaign, writing in a blog post "Imagine what it feels like to hear Rockin' in the Free World after this president speaks, like it is his theme song".

"This complaint is not meant to disrespect the rights of opinions of American citizens, who are free to support the candidate of their choosing", the suit begins. Saperstein declined to comment further, and the Trump campaign did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

"In his lawsuit, Neil claims the President's campaign is still playing his classics "Rockin" in the Free World" and "Devil's Sidewalk" at rallies.

Neil Young isn't too happy.

Both songs were played as recently as June 20, 2020, at Trump's Tulsa, Okla., rally.

The Trump campaign does have such a licence.

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Young previously decided against a lawsuit because of blanket licensing agreements that PROs offer venues for the songs they administer.

Apparently, Trump had been repeatedly notified of the alleged infringements involving Young's music.

Over the past few years, numerous artists have come out strongly against the use of their songs during political rallies and campaign events - particularly when it comes to the Trump campaign - by sending cease-and-desist letters or publicly denouncing the use of their songs at these events.

"Tom Petty would never want a song of his to be used in a campaign of hate".

Other artists have also complained after their songs were played at Trump's events.

The Grammy-award winning Canadian-born musician filed the lawsuit through his lawyers in Manhattan federal court, seeking up to $150,000 in statutory damages for each infringement.

Young has - understandably - been vocally frustrated by the unauthorised use of his music by the Trump campaign, and has pondered taking legal action.

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