Neil Young sues Trump campaign over use of music at events
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Neil Young has filed a lawsuit against the Trump 2020 campaign for copyright infringement after the president has repeatedly used the rocker's music at official events.
Young, 74, is suing for up to $150,000 in statutory damages for each infringement.
Two songs were specifically cited in the suit, “Rockin’ in the Free World” and “Devil’s Sidewalk." The campaign's use of "Rockin'" was cited by Young in a previous statement as a reason for potential legal action
The suit, which was filed Tuesday, claimed that the songs have been used regularly at campaign events, including the highly-publicized June rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Neil Young (left) has sued the Trump reelection campaign for copyright infringement over the use of his music at rallies and events, despite the campaign paying proper licensing fees.
The musician denied suing in an effort to "disrespect the rights and opinions of American citizens, who are free to support the candidate of their choosing," per the suit.
“However," it added, “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."
Since Trump's first campaign, Young has been very vocal about his opposition to his music being used at such events, the suit said.
"The campaign has willfully ignored Plaintiff's telling it not to play the Songs and willfully proceeded to play the Songs despite its lack of a license," the suit alleges.
The suit was filed in Manhattan federal court by New York attorney Ivan Saperstein and Robert S. Besser of Santa Monica, Calif.
"I am changing my mind about suing President Trump. Reconsidering. I’m looking at it again," Young said on his website last month. "There is a long history to consider and I originally considered it, deciding not to pursue. But then President Trump ordered thugs in uniform onto our streets. His idea. He ordered it himself. This all DJT."
"Imagine what it feels like to hear 'Rockin’ in the Free World' after this president speaks, like it is his theme song. I did not write it for that."
The Trump campaign and Young's attorney did not immediately respond to Fox News' request for comment.
Young previously noted that the campaign pays licensing fees, which Rolling Stone said would cause a case, such as this, an uphill battle.
The Associated Press contributed to this report
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