Newt Gingrich’s campaign has repeatedly violated copyright law by improperly using “Eye Of The Tiger” at campaign events, says the song’s co-writer and publisher, who is now suing the campaign:
After months of attempting to deal with Gingrich’s campaign, a Palatine-based music publishing company owned by Survivor lead guitarist Frankie Sullivan has filed suit seeking damages and an injunction to block the Republican contender from using the song at appearances and in campaign videos.
“This has nothing to do with politics. This is a copyright issue,” said Annette McGarry, Sullivan’s lawyer. “We’ve tried to deal with them for months, and they’ve been trying to ignore it.”
Since at least 2009, Gingrich has entered rallies to the pulsing guitar riffs of the song, which was the background track to Rocky’s training montages in the 1982 film “Rocky III.”
Despite complaints from Sullivan, Gingrich still was using the song at events in South Carolina this month, and the song is featured in several campaign videos posted on the Internet, McGarry said. Polls show Gingrich trails rival Mitt Romney by double digits in the Florida primary.
This is so typical of assholes like Newt Gingrich. Is it so hard to ask a songwriter for permission to use their copyrighted material to sell your campaign? Apparently it is. Especially if you’re too cheap to pay to use licensed material. C’mon, Newt: ask Sheldon Adelson to cough up a few thousand more so the songwriters you’re stealing from don’t get ripped off.
Here’s the money quote:
“He likes to walk in like a fighter entering the ring,” she said. “He should have to pay for it.”
That’s exactly right. Gingrich selected this song for marketing reasons, the same way a beer brand picks a classic pop song to burnish its brand’s image. The same way Sarah Palin chose Heart’s “Barracuda” to be her theme song. Music is a cultural touchstone and it’s as crucial for branding a politician as it is a box of detergent. For Newt, “Eye Of The Tiger” evokes images of a fighter, the guy who won’t back down against all odds, the come-from-behind winner. But if Anheuser-Bush has to pay to use a song like that in its advertising, Newt does, too.
But nooo, God forbid he should pay for something when he can just
steal use it for free. This is so indicative of how the Gingrich’s of the world operate. Like bullies and thugs, offering nothing but an “Oh yeah? Make me!” to people whose work they’re happy to use but not pay for. And the audacity to do this at campaign events where he spews crap about how poor black kids don’t want work, “unless it’s illegal” — when you’re effectively stealing!
Here’s a thought: roll up your sleeves and go to work, Newtie. Write your own damn theme song, asshole.