July 21st, 2009
03:35 PM ET
2 years ago

Browne, McCain campaign settle suit over use of music

Jackson Browne reached a settlement Tuesday with Sen. John McCain, the Republican National Committee and the Ohio Republican Party.
Jackson Browne reached a settlement Tuesday with Sen. John McCain, the Republican National Committee and the Ohio Republican Party.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – Singer and songwriter Jackson Browne reached a settlement Tuesday that ends an 11 month long legal battle against Sen. John McCain, the Republican National Committee and the Ohio Republican Party.

Browne filed suit after a Web video the Ohio GOP produced in favor of the party's presidential candidate featured Browne's 1977 hit "Running on Empty."

McCain's campaign had to end its use of a string of songs over the course of the presidential race following complaints by the musical artists - a list that included the Foo Fighters, John Mellencamp, Boston and Heart.

The terms of the settlement with Browne call for McCain, the RNC and the ORP to issue a public statement of apology, and a pledge that in future campaigns they will seek the permission of music artists prior to playing their songs. The financial terms of the settlement are being kept confidential.

"We apologize that a portion of the Jackson Browne song 'Runing On Empty' was used without permission," the joint McCain, RNC, ORP statement said. "The ORP, RNC and Senator McCain pledge in future election campaigns to respect and uphold the rights of artists and to obtain permissions and/or licenses for copyrighted works where appropriate."


Filed under: John McCain • RNC
soundoff (21 Responses)
  1. Petty Theft

    So in other words, the Republicans stole something .... I thought they were the responsible, patriotic, trustworthy ones ...... guess not.

    July 21, 2009 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  2. Stop the Robber Baron Insurance Companies and The Republicans they Bribe

    I thought that "Running On Empty" was the g.o.p.'s theme song

    July 21, 2009 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  3. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    I can't stop laughing. I knew this would come back to bite McCain. Now what about the Barracuda song?

    July 21, 2009 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  4. Bob in Pa

    After a certain length of time, any popular tune should revert to the public domain. It has grown its way into the fabric of life and the Artist has more than been compensated for it.

    July 21, 2009 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  5. Richard

    When did McCain ever keep his word?

    July 21, 2009 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  6. Brian in MD

    As with any intellectual property, express permission to use it needs to be given regardless of who the user is.

    July 21, 2009 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  7. Carl from MI

    These Republican patriots used that music during their patriotic struggle to fight the evil Democratic oppression!!

    How very UNpatriotic of those musicians to actually expect monetary compensation in return... it was their patriotic DUTY to let their songs be used by Republicans for free!

    What were those treasonous musicians thinking... or weren't they thinking at all? Treason is a hangable offense...

    July 21, 2009 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  8. Tim

    Browne is a communist, so who cares?

    July 21, 2009 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  9. Stu-Florida

    Perhaps Sarah Palin should pay the settlement. She is, afterall, Running on Empty!

    July 21, 2009 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  10. Jimmy the Greek

    Ironic... "Running on Empty" appears to be the theme song for Democrats in Congress and how they want to run the Federal Government.

    Wonder if Jackson Browne will file suite against dems??

    Nahh... he only has a problem with conservatives.

    July 21, 2009 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  11. Willy Brown

    Whiney liberals. Brown your muzak stinks anyway

    July 21, 2009 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  12. Stephen in Denver

    The GOP always confuses itself with GOD. They figure they can do anything and because it's them, "It's got to be right!" Regardless if its kickbacks or trampling civil rights.

    July 21, 2009 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  13. a little sad

    Bob in Pa July 21st, 2009 5:32 pm ET

    After a certain length of time, any popular tune should revert to the public domain. It has grown its way into the fabric of life and the Artist has more than been compensated for it.

    I believe it does, but it's a longer period than th 32 years from the time it was released.

    In any event, it is certainly inappropriate to use any living performers work without their permission as it might be interpreted as an endorsement.

    July 21, 2009 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  14. Fla.

    Yeah right, Republican so-called pledge to "respect and uphold the rights of artists and to obtain permissions" did NOT even last a day (read: Lady Gaga). More Republican LIES.

    Good for Jackson Browne. All Americans deserve an apology for the Republican dishonesty, gimmicks, & games during these challenging times. Enough.

    July 21, 2009 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  15. jj

    Ahaaaaa. Mr. mccain always run on empty and has even with songs!

    July 21, 2009 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  16. joe

    McCain, the RNC and the ORP to issue a public statement of apology, and a pledge that in future campaigns they will seek the permission of music artists prior to playing their songs. The financial terms of the settlement are being kept confidential.
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Is mccain running again? He can keep that confidential too, though everybody kinda know the answer!

    July 21, 2009 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  17. ken

    They ran on Obama palling around with terrorist. How about Mccain palling around with other peoples Property!

    July 21, 2009 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  18. Anonymous

    We are a nation of SUERS!

    July 21, 2009 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  19. Ain't life strange?

    @ Bob in PA

    "After a certain length of time, any popular tune should revert to the public domain. It has grown its way into the fabric of life and the Artist has more than been compensated for it."

    That's like saying after a certain period of time a popular movie or novel should become public domain and anyone can plagiarize them. How would it be if your employer felt after 10 years of your service that you had been more then compensated for what you do and no longer pay you? Creating music is the man's livelihood and he deserves to get paid for what he does. Who has that right to say, "Well, dude. You made enough money off this song."

    July 21, 2009 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  20. Zero.

    Well it took longer because I didn't have the right tools, but I fixed my kettle eventually. The USA will do the same, when Obama's out of office.

    July 21, 2009 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  21. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    @ Willy Brown

    It can't stink too bad if they decided to use it.

    July 21, 2009 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |