The Chicago Personal Injury Law Blog

Newt Gingrich Sued Over Song Choice

Newt Gingrich sued over song choice? The presidential hopeful probably has enough distractions without worrying about the music he plays on the campaign trail. But the candidate found himself being sued by the 1980s music group Survivor for the decision to play the 1982 hit “Eye of the Tiger” on the campaign trail.

Chicago-born Frankie Sullivan co-wrote the song and has filed a federal lawsuit against Gingrich. Sullivan says his lawsuit is not politically motivated, but during the 2008 presidential campaign he similarly issued a cease-and-desist letter to Republican candidate John McCain, reports the Chicago Sun-Times.

Sullivan co-wrote the song for Rocky III, and says that he is only defending the rights of all people who have created copyrightable work. In fact, he pointed out the fact that Gingrich himself owns 40 copyrighted works and was a congressman when the Copyright Act was extensively amended, reports the Sun-Times. According to the lawsuit, Gingrich has been using the song since 2009 during public campaign appearances, on the campaign bus, and other events.

Generally, to use a copyrighted work, someone must first receive the permission from the author. Using a copyright can include reproducing the work, pubic performances of the work, and public displays of the work.

“Newt Gingrich sued over ‘Eye of the Tiger,’” may be a funny headline, but it’s no joking matter. Frankie Sullivan says that Gingrich did not get his permission to play the music and he wants Gingrich to stop, pay damages including any profits gained from the song, and also pay Sullivan’s attorney fees and court costs.

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