Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Gingrich 'Rocky' Campaign Sued by 'Eye of the Tiger' Composer

ARLINGTON, VA - DECEMBER 21:  Newt Gingrich sp...Image by Getty Images via @daylifeGOP presidential primary contender and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich may consider himself a political Survivor, but the co-composer of the Rocky III theme song "Eye of the Tiger" nonetheless has brought a copyright infringement claim in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois to get the Georgia history professor to stop blasting the tune at campaign events.

The five-page complaint in Rude Music Inc. v. Newt 2012 et al. (Case No. 1:12-cv-00640) seeks injunctive relief, along with damages and attorneys' fees against Gingrich's campaign, Newt 2012, as well as the American Conservative Union. Plaintiff Frank Sullivan, owner of Rude Music Inc., co-wrote the Grammy-winning "Eye of the Tiger" with Jim Peterik, and registered the copyright in 1982, according to accounts by Reuters and Associated Press wire services.

The complaint alleges Gingrich co-opted the song without the creators' permission, and has been using it since 2009 to signal his arrival at rallies and other public appearances. Gingrich's campaign has yet to respond to the suit, preferring to direct its invective at front-runner Mitt Romney, President Barack Obama and the news media.

Republican candidates have not had much luck against musicians angry over their works being used in political settings, ranging from Jackson Browne (see "TUOL" post 7/21/09), David Byrne (see "TUOL" post 5/26/10) and Don Henley (see "TUOL" post 6/3/10). If  Rep. Gingrich decides to change his tune, so to speak, the music-loving staff of "TUOL" recommends Frank Sinatra's "Love is Lovelier the Second (er...Third) Time Around," Tina Turner's "Let's Pretend We're Married," Blue October's "Hate Me" or Lisa Marie Presley's "Idiot."
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