Eddy Grant, who scored a #2 hit in 1983 with the song “Electric Avenue,” has joined the list of artists attempting to stop President Donald Trump from using their music as part of his 2020 reelection campaign.
Billboard reports that Grant filed a copyright-infringement lawsuit on Tuesday, September 1, that focuses on an animated campaign video mocking candidate Joe Biden that was posted on Trump’s Twitter feed in August, which the Guyanese-British singer’s lawyers claim illegally uses “Electric Avenue.”
One of Grant’s lawyers, Brian Caplan, tells Billboard that the lawsuit was filed after another attorney for the singer sent a cease-and-desist letter to President Trump’s lawyer shortly after the video was posted, requesting that it be taken down, and didn’t receive a response.
“You need to get a synchronization license when you sync music to video,” says Caplan, while noting that Grant owns the “Electric Avenue” master recording and wasn’t asked for permission to use the track.
The suit charges that the defendants “have infringed and continue to infringe Plaintiffs’ copyrights…by creating, producing, distribution, promoting, advertising, performing by means of digital audiovisual transmission, and otherwise commercially exploiting the Infringing Video, and/or authorizing others to do the same, without Plaintiffs’ authority or consent.”
Caplan adds, “This is copyright 101. You need to have a license and nobody in [Trump’s] campaign with a straight face could say he has the absolute right to do this.”
The suit is seeking damages of up to $150,000, a permanent injunction on use of the song, the impoundment and/or destruction of all copies of the video, attorney’s fees and more.
Meanwhile, The Hill reports that Twitter removed the video from President Trump feed’s on Tuesday.
By Matt Friedlander
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