Mike Huckabee Settles For Five Figures With Survivor Over Copyright Infringement

from the just-ask-next-time dept

If you'll recall, back when the American presidential campaign was still in full swing and we weren't all left with only two candidates that basically distill the concept of the lesser of two evils argument for voter participation, Mike Huckabee held a rally for Kim Davis and played Eye of the Tiger by Survivor to introduce her. While there was enough wrong in the entire episode to fill up many, many pages, Techdirt focused first on Frank Sullivan of Survivor's lawsuit against Huckabee for copyright infringement. Most observers initially thought that the suit wouldn't go anywhere, as most of the time these politicians have the proper blanket licensing to play these songs as part of their campaigns. Upon further inspection, however, the Kim Davis rally couldn't really have been considered part of Huckabee's ill-fated campaign, which would render any license his people had obtained useless. This was confirmed when Huckabee bizarrely put forth affirmative fair use defenses, claiming that the use was non-substantial and non-commercial...because the Kim Davis rally was a religious rally.

I said at the time that the tactic was unlikely to work and, additionally, was quite a disgusting attempt, given the piety that Huckabee likes to portray. Debasing religious conviction to get out of copyright infringement is stunningly shrewd, even to a devout secularist such as myself. Especially when Huckabee could have simply found a band willing to give permission for the use, setting up some kind of God v. Copyright showdown seemed slimy.

But that's what the former candidate chose to do, which brings me to this strange string of words I never thought I'd put in this particular order: God lost to copyright.

Failed presidential candidate Mike Huckabee is paying $25,000 for playing "Eye of the Tiger" at a rally last year without the band's permission, CNNMoney has discovered. Huckabee never paid for the rights -- so his campaign got sued for copyright infringement. He recently agreed to a confidential settlement with Rude Music. That company is owned by the Survivor guitarist who cowrote the song, Frankie Sullivan.

The claim that the rally was a religious gathering and not connected to the Huckabee campaign reportedly fell apart because he had listed the rally as a campaign expense on his records. Interestingly, despite Huckabee's claim that it was not a campaign event, that it was so will allow him to use his campaign's warchest to pay off the settlement.

And thus comes to an end a politician's campaign infringing on copyright and trying to invoke religion to get out of it. Thy kingdom come...to a settlement with an 80s band, apparently.


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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 6 Jul 2016 @ 4:10pm

    It's the eye of the liar
    It's the shrill of the right
    Sinking down when the issue ends up viral
    And the last known survivor
    Sues his prey in this fight
    And he's watching us all with the eye of his lawyers

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