The long fight between Jackson Browne and the McCain presidential campaign is at an end, with the Republicans writing cheques and issuing apologies:
Singer/songwriter Jackson Browne has resolved his lawsuit against the Ohio Republican Party (“ORP”), the Republican National Committee (“RNC”) and Senator John McCain. The lawsuit arose from a web campaign video produced by the ORP in support of Senator McCain's campaign for President of the United States which incorporated portions of the song Running On Empty, a song written and recorded by Mr. Browne. The lawsuit, filed in August, 2008 in the United States District Court in Los Angeles, alleged that this use of Mr. Browne's song required a license which was not obtained, and that the defendants were liable for copyright infringement, false endorsement under the United States Lanham Act and violation of Mr. Browne’s right of publicity for the use of his voice.
The financial terms of the settlement are confidential.
The ORP, RNC and Senator McCain issued the following statement: "We apologize that a portion of the Jackson Browne song ‘Running On Empty’ was used without permission. Although Senator McCain had no knowledge of, or involvement in, the creation or distribution of the web campaign video, Senator McCain does not support or condone any actions taken by anyone involved in his 2008 presidential election campaign that were inconsistent with artists’ rights or the various legal protections afforded to intellectual property. The ORP, RNC and Senator McCain pledge in future election campaigns to respect and uphold the rights of artists and to obtain permissions and/or licenses for copyrighted works where appropriate."
Fine words, although given that they came in settlement of a lawsuit which McCain and his team had fought, it'd be interesting to find out how the two can be squared.
Still: The Republicans have committed themselves to obtaining permission for music used in election campaigns in the future. That's quite a pledge to make in a legal document, isn't it?