The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed that Neil Young is officially suing Donald Trump’s presidential campaign.
The lawsuit was reportedly filed on August 4th in a New York federal court. Young posted a copy of the lawsuit on the Neil Young Archives, where he revealed that the copyright infringement lawsuit revolves around the Trump campaign’s use of “Rockin’ in the Free World” and “Devil’s Sidewalk” at political events.
Neil Young sues Donald Trump campaign for using his music https://t.co/9LCWFTS2Xa
— The Guardian (@guardian) August 4, 2020
“This complaint is not intended to disrespect the rights and opinions of American citizens, who are free to support the candidate of their choosing,” the lawsuit reads. “However, Plaintiff [Neil Young dba Silver Fiddle Music] in good conscience cannot allow his music to be used as a ‘theme song’ for a divisive, un-American campaign of ignorance and hate.”
“The Campaign [Donald J. Trump for President, Inc.] has publicly played both “Rockin’ in the Free World” and “Devil’s Sidewalk” numerous times at rallies and political events for the entertainment and amusement of those attending those rallies and political events. The Campaign played both Songs at a rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma on June 20, 2020,” the lawsuit continues. “The Campaign does not now have, and did not at the time of the Tulsa rally, have a license or Plaintiff’s permission to play the two Songs at any public political event.”
In fact, Young’s lawsuit continues on to acknowledge that the campaign “willfully ignored Plaintiff’s telling not to play the songs.”
Young is looking for damages, and is also asking the Trump campaign “be enjoined primarily and permanently from publicly performing the Songs – or any musical compositions owned by Plaintiff – and from causing or permitting the Songs to be publicly performed at public events conducted, controlled, managed, supervised, or arranged for by the Campaign and/or aiding or abetting the public performance of the Songs in any such place.”