Texas Trademark Lawyer Tamera Bennett

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Newt Gingrich Sued Copyright Infringement "Eye of the Tiger"

Newt Gingrich's campaign makes the news twice in a week for claims of copyright infringement of a song.   Rude Music Inc., owned by Frank Sullivan, a co-author of the song "Eye of the Tiger," filed a copyright infringement lawsuit in federal district court in Chicago for Gingrich's use of the song on the campaign trail. As discussed last week, so long as Gingrich's campaign secured the necessary public performance licenses, any song may be played at a campaign event without permission from Rude Music, Frank Sullivan or Rocky Balboa.

Rude Music complaint's does raise an interesting point regarding videos of campaign events where "Eye of the Tiger" can be heard.  There may be a blush of a valid claim for copyright infringement related to these videos.  Reproduction and distribution of the video footage looks a lot less like a "public performance" and more like a synchronization of the song to the other visual images in the footage.

Volcano Records (parent company is Sony), the copyright owner of the underlying sound recording, is not a party to the lawsuit.

Happy reading:  Jump to the complaint.

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