Since he first announced his intent to run for President of the United States in 2016, Donald Trump has freely “borrowed” music for his rallies and campaign ads.
Many of the artists have sent cease and desist orders and even threatened legal action but so far none of them on those threats…until now.
“Electric Avenue” singer Eddy Grant is the first artist to file a suit against the Trump presidential campaign for copyright infringement after his song “Electric Avenue” was used in a campaign ad featuring himself on a speeding train and presidential candidate Joe Biden on a hand car.
Trump posted the video via his Twitter account on August 12. On August 13, a cease and desist letter was sent Trump’s lawyers; however, the video is still live. Calling it “copyright 101”, lawyers noted that neither Trump or his campaign sought permission from Grant to use the song in their video.
In the suit filed in New York on September 1, they are asking for a jury trial, licensing fees, statutory damages, and removal of the video.
Grant wrote the song in 1981 in response to race riots in Brixton, England.
Anytime a song is used at a rally or in an ad, parties must receive permission and pay licensing fees for use of the music by any artist. But for the past four plus years, Trump and his campaign have failed to seek any form of permission or pay any of the legal licensing fees on music used.
Previously the Rolling Stones, Sir Elton John, and Axl Rose, and Neil Young have requested their music NOT be played at any of Trump’s rallies or on campaign ads.
feature photo credit: By Stuart Sevastos – originally posted to Flickr as Eddy Grant @ Supreme Court Gardens (24/1/2009), CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=7371115