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NEW YORK — Singer-songwriter Jackson Browne is suing John McCain and the Republican party for using his song “Running on Empty” in a recent TV commercial.
In the suit, filed in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, Browne claims McCain and the party did not obtain permission to use the song for an ad in which “Senator McCain and the Republicans mock presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama for suggesting that the country conserve gas through proper tire inflation.”
Browne, a lifelong Democrat, is seeking unspecified damages as well as a permanent injunction prohibiting the use of “Running on Empty” in any form by the McCain campaign.
“Not only have Sen. 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,” Browne lawyer Lawrence Iser said.
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