Neil Young does not want Donald Trump to use his music at campaign events and plans to take the President to court over the matter. The legendary singer-songwriter filed a copyright infringement lawsuit on Tuesday in New York.
On June 20, the President held a rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma. While there, the campaign used Young’s songs “Rockin’ in the Free World” and “Devil’s Sidewalk.” Young, 74, claims President Trump’s campaign lacks the license to publicy play the compositions.
“This complaint is not intended to disrespect the rights and opinions of American citizens, who are free to support the candidate of their choosing,” the complaint reads, according to Hollywood Reporter. “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.”
What Neil Young Wants by Suing Donald Trump
Neil Young hopes to achieve two goals in suing Donald Trump. Firstly, Young wants to prevent the President from using his music in the future. Secondly, the Grammy winner demands statutory damages.
Young contemplated suing President Trump during his first presidential campaign in 2016. However, he changed his mind at the time. He reportedly dropped the issue years ago. However, Young claims he was told the venues obtained performance licenses from ASCAP and BMI.
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame artist joins other several artists in opposing Trump using their music. In July, The Rolling Stones threatened legal action if the President continued using their songs at rallies.
Most recently, artists including Aerosmith and Sir Elton John signed an open letter in regards to the issue. The letter calls for politicians to obtain permission before the artists’ music at political events.
Currently, political candidates must obtain a Political Entities License. The license grants them access to 15 million songs. President Trump’s campaign possesses such a license.
[H/T Hollywood Reporter]