Wednesday, May 26, 2010

GOP Campaign Ads: Stick to Country & Western & Andy Williams

David Byrne of Talking Heads,  the New Wave band that thrived in the '70s and '80s, is suing Florida Gov. Charlie Crist for allegedly appropriating the band's 1985 single Road to Nowhere in a campaign attack ad without permission or copyright licenses, according to Billboard magazine.

The suit filed in Tampa in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida (Case No. 8:10- cv-1187-T26(MAP)) demands $1 million in damages for Crist's alleged use of the song in a YouTube attack ad against his then-GOP  primary rival for the U.S. Senate race, Marco Rubio. Crist has since not only abandoned the Talking Heads tune, but also the GOP, and is running for Senate as an independent.

The suit alleges copyright infringement and also includes a violation of the Lanham Act count for purportedly implying Byrne's endorsement of Crist's candidacy. Coincidentally, Byrne's attorney also successfully sued the GOP in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California for using Jackson Browne's Running on Empty during Sen. John McCain's presidential run without permission (Case No. cv08-05334) [see "TUOL" post 7/21/09].

Road to Nowhere appeared on the 1985 album Little Creatures, the band's sixth album. Other Talking Heads song titles No Compassion, Artists Only, and Give Me Back My Name, seem more apropos regarding the lawsuit.

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