On Tuesday, Neil Young posts a lawsuit against the U.S President Donald Trump for using his songs in political rallies. He claims that Trump and his campaign rallies having to play his songs “Rockin’ in the Free World” and “Devils Sidewalk” are subject to copyright infringement.
Rick Gershon, who represents Young, said that it was in the federal court of New York where the complaint was filed.
The Canadian singer was triggered when his songs were played during the appearance of Trump at Mount Rushmore on July 3. It was when the president announced that he would establish a “National Garden od American Heroes” by signing an executive order.
At that time, Neil tweeted that he is not comfortable for the president to use his songs. He wrote, “This is NOT ok with me, I stand in solidarity with the Lakota Sioux & this is NOT ok with me.”
Ever since the announcement of Trump that he was running for president on June 16, 2015, Young had been his critic. The singer disapproved of the use of his music by the politician as well.
However, Trump has recently played Neil’s songs again in his July 3 speech in South Dakota and Tulsa, Oklahoma, during a rally on June 20.
“Imagine what it feels like to hear ‘Rockin’ in the Free World’ after this president speaks like it is his theme song,” he wrote on his Archive site. “I did not write it for that.”
Young previously said that he would not file any lawsuit against Trump. However, all the ruckus that had happened in the country under Trump's administration has changed Young's decision in the last few months.
Young is not the only one who has been complaining about copyright claims. Tom Petty’s family have said that they sent a cease-and-desist letter to Trump for using Petty’s “I Won't Back Down” song in his Tulsa rally.
A license for a song to play at political campaigns can be acquired from organizations of performing arts such as ASCAP and BMI. The politicians could use and play the song in their rallies without direct consent from the artist. However, the song owners could remove their songs from the catalog of available licensed songs if they don't want it to be used.