Neil Young Files Copyright Infringement Lawsuit Against Donald Trump’s Campaign

Lawrence Kim
August 5, 2020

The legendary singer cited repeated use of two songs: Rockin' in the Free World and Devil's Sidewalk.

Young, 74, an outspoken critic of the president, is among the many musicians who have criticized Trump for playing their work at his events.

Since then, Young alleged, the campaign had repeatedly used his music without permssion - despite knowing that they needed a license to do so.

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.

"This complaint is not meant to disrespect the rights and opinions of American citizens, who are free to support the candidate of their choosing", the lawsuit posted to NYA reads.

The Rolling Stones threatened legal action last month over the campaign's disregard of a provision in the BMI Political Entities License that allows songwriters or publishers of the music to withdraw their work from the license.

Neil Young to Donald Trump: Not so fast rockin' in the free world.

The Manitoba-born "Godfather of Grunge" has publicly fumed for years about Trump's unwelcome use of his music, which is often left-wing and harshly critical of American political culture.

The Canadian singer-songwriter - who obtained American citizenship earlier this year - took to his Neil Young Archives website today to post a document of his legal complaint, which is addressed to the NY federal court, although it remains unclear if the lawsuit has been filed yet.

Neil Young sued the Trump campaign on Tuesday for allegedly using his songs without permission at campaign rallies.

Neil Young is suing Donald Trump's presidential campaign, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Saperstein declined to comment further, and the Trump campaign did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

"I stand in solidarity with the Lakota Sioux & this is NOT ok with me", he said in support of over 100 protesters who forced the closing of a road leading to the landmark.

"Imagine what it feels like to hear Rockin' in the Free World after this President speaks, like it is his theme song", Young said on the website. Both songs were played as recently as June 20, 2020, at Trump's Tulsa, Okla., rally.

Other artists have also complained after their songs were played at Trump's events.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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