Neil Young sues Donald Trump’s re-election campaign for using his music
Neil Young is suing President Donald Trump for using his songs, Rockin’ in the Free World and Devil’s Sidewalk, without his permission during campaign rallies in Tulsa, Oklahoma on June 20.
The musician has in the past objected to Trump’s use of his music at campaign rallies and in his latest filing stated that he did not want his music to be the soundtrack of Trump’s often criticised racially insensitive and divisive campaigns.
“This complaint is not intended to disrespect the rights and opinions of American citizens, who are free to support the candidate of their choosing,” reads the copyright infringement complaint filed at the US District Court in Manhattan on Tuesday.
“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.”
The musician noted that he had publicly asked the Trump campaign to stop using his music in the past to no avail.
“Imaging what it feels like to hear Rockin’ in the Free World after this president speaks, like it is his theme song,” he wrote in a blog post last month. “I did not write it for that.”
According to the filing, Young is seeking damages of up to $150 000 per infringement.
Political candidates must obtain a Political Entities Licence, which gives them access to 15 million songs for their use during campaign purposes.
The Trump campaign does have such a licence and musicians, including The Rolling Stones, have asked the US president to remove them from his rally playlist. Daily Mast