Singer Jackson Browne files copyright suit against Senator John McCain

NEW YORK - US Presidential candidate Senator John McCain is being sued by 'Running On Empty' singer Jackson Browne, for alleged copyright infringement and false endorsement.

Renowned 70s songwriter Browne filed a suit against McCain and the Republican National Committee in a Californian court today. The lawsuit stems from a recent television commercial featuring Browne's 1978 hit 'Running On Empty'.

Browne alleges that the Republican Party failed to obtain a licence for use of the song in the commercial, in which McCain mocks Democratic nominee Barack Obama for suggesting that Americans could conserve petrol through proper tire inflation.

Browne, well known for his political activism and anti-Reaganism during the 1980s, is also suing McCain under the US Lanham Act for suggesting that Browne is associated with and endorses McCain and the Republican Party.

Browne is seeking permanent injunction prohibiting the use of 'Running On Empty' as well as damages.

Browne's lawyer, Lawrence Iser, said: "We are confident that Jackson Browne will prevail in this lawsuit. Not only have Senator McCain and his agents plainly infringed Mr Browne's copyright in 'Running On Empty', but the Federal Courts have long held that the unauthorised use of a famous singer's voice in a commercial constitutes a false endorsement and a violation of the singer's right of publicity.

"In light of Jackson Browne's lifelong commitment to the Democratic ideals and political candidates, the misappropriation of Jackson Browne's endorsement is entirely reprehensible, and I have no doubt that a jury will agree."

You can read all about the US presidential election and watch the latest advertisements in Darren Davidson's blog Electioneering Stateside.


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