Get out your 80s leather for this one – Presidential candidate in hot water for copyright infringement of 80s megahit

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We all know one of the most famous songs of the 80s, ‘Eye of the Tiger’, by Boston. The owners of copyright in this track, Rude Music have filed a law suit against USA Presidential candidate, Robert Huckerby for unauthorized use of the copyright in the track during his campaign.

According to Rude, Huckerby is a repeat offender of US copyright laws.

The argument goes that because many of Huckerby’s staff are the same as his 2008 campaign, wherein the band’s track ‘More than a feeling’ was not allowed to be used by the campaign, they should all have known the “ins and outs” of copyright law and particularly the consent requirement.

Therefore, Rude is claiming willful infringement and demands an injunction (interdict in SA) against further public performances of the ‘Eye of the Tiger’ track.

Some commentators have argued that Huckerby and his team took the risk of the use of the song and the likelihood of an infringement suit following, despite their knowledge of copyright law, because the song was so pertinent and applicable to his campaign.

My comment is that the outcome of the case will be interesting because I am sure (from what commentators have said) that the cost of an infringement suit for the use of the song would have been factored into the campaign budget.

It is probable that Rude will win this case. I wonder if damages will be sought too or at some stage.

What do you think? Should a presidential candidate be allowed to use a song or any work under copyright during his campaign without the consent of the owner?

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