Songwriter and liberal political activist Jackson Browne has filed a lawsuit against Senator John McCain and the Republican National Committee in the US District Court in LA. The suit stems from a recent TV commercial for McCain’s presidential bid that incorporates the song “Running on Empty.”
The suit alleges that McCain and the Republican Party failed to obtain a license for the use of Browne’s song in the commercial where McCain and the Republicans mock 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 Lanham Act by falsely suggesting Browne is associated with and endorses Senator McCain’s candidacy. The suit also alleges that the use of Browne’s voice in the commercial violates 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.