Legendary musician Neil Young has filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against US President Donald Trump, over unauthorized song usage at campaign rallies. The musician alleges that the president lacked a license to play “Rockin’ in the Free World” and “Devil’s Sidewalk” at his campaign rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
This lawsuit follows Young’s July announcement that he was reconsidering the idea of suing the president for playing his music at the events. He had previously asserted that he would not sue Trump due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but changed his mind following the deployment of federal troops in Portland.
“This complaint is not intended to disrespect the rights and opinions of American citizens, who are free to support the candidate of their choosing,” Young’s complaint filed in a New York federal court state. “However, 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.”
Young also criticized Trump for performing his songs at a campaign rally in South Dakota last month. As a supporter of numerous progressive causes, Young has been at frequent odds with Trump for his stance on the Black Lives Matter movement and his numerous controversial statements.
This latest lawsuit follows a much broader movement by multiple prominent artists, who have signed a letter in support of requiring politicians to seek their consent for playing their music at campaign events. Numerous acts including Guns N’ Roses’ Axl Rose, The Village People’s Victor Willis, heavy metal pioneer Ozzy Osbourne and the estates of Tom Petty and Prince have called on Trump to stop using their music at his campaign rallies.