LOS ANGELES, CA. (Jackson Browne)--Renowned songwriter and liberal political activist Jackson Browne
has filed a lawsuit today against Senator John McCain and the Republican National
Committee in the United States District Court in Los Angeles, California. The lawsuit stems from a recent television commercial for Senator McCain's presidential bid that incorporates the song Running On Empty, a song written by and famously associated with Mr. Browne, it was announced today by Jackson Browne's attorney, Lawrence Y. Iser.
The suit alleges that Senator McCain and the Republican Party failed to obtain a license for the use of Mr. Browne's song in the television commercial. In the commercial, Senator McCain and the Republicans mock Democratic candidate for President Barack Obama for suggesting that the country conserve gas through proper tire inflation.
In addition to a claim for copyright infringement, the suit alleges that by using a song famously associated with Mr. Browne, Senator McCain and the Republican Party violated the United States Lanham Act by falsely suggesting that Mr. Browne is associated with and endorses Senator McCain's candidacy. The suit also alleges that the use of Mr. Browne's voice in the commercial violates Mr. Browne's right of publicity under California law. The suit seeks a permanent injunction prohibiting the use of Running On Empty and any other Jackson Browne composition, as well as damages.
"We are confident that Jackson Browne will prevail in this lawsuit. Not only have Senator McCain and his agents plainly infringed Mr. Browne's copyright in Running On Empty, but the Federal Courts have long held that the unauthorized use of a famous singer's voice in a commercial constitutes a false endorsement and a violation of the singer's right of publicity," Lawrence Iser of the Santa Monica, California law firm Kinsella Weitzman Iser Kump & Aldisert said. "In light of Jackson Browne's lifelong commitment to Democratic ideals and political candidates, the misappropriation of Jackson Browne's endorsement is entirely reprehensible, and I have no doubt that a jury will agree."