Neil Young sues Trump campaign over use of songs at rallies

Carla Harmon
August 5, 2020

The Trump campaign and Young's attorney did not immediately respond to Fox News' request for comment.

The suit, which seeks damages of up to $150,000 for each infringement, is undated but the text indicates Young's attorneys planning to file it with a federal court in NY.

The suit, which was filed Tuesday, claimed that the songs have been used regularly at campaign events, including the highly-publicized June rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Young has - understandably - been vocally frustrated by the unauthorised use of his music by the Trump campaign, and has pondered taking legal action.

"The campaign has willfully ignored Plaintiff's telling it not to play the Songs and willfully proceeded to play the Songs despite its lack of a license", the suit alleges.


This comes only days after Young's open letter, where he said he was 'reconsidering' suing Trump following the recent unrest in Portland, Oregon.

During his rally, held at the base of Mount Rushmore on Friday, US President Donald Trump played three of the rocker's songs, to Young's apparent irritation.

"But" it added,"Plaintiff in good conscience can't allow his music to be applied as a'theme tune' to get a divisive, un-American effort of ignorance and hatred".

"I stand in solidarity with the Lakota Sioux & this is NOT ok with me", Young tweeted last month.

"Imagine what it feels like to hear "Rockin" in the Free World' after this President speaks, like it is his theme song", Young said on the website.


Other artists have also complained after their songs were played at Trump's events. In July, he followed up with another letter calling the President out for repeatedly using his music "with no regard for my rights, even calling me names on Twitter".

The Manitoba-born "Godfather of Grunge" has publicly fumed for years about Trump's unwelcome use of his music, which is often left-wing and harshly critical of American political culture.

A representative for Young did not confirm to Rolling Stone that the lawsuit has been filed yet.

"Trump was in no way authorized to use this song to further a campaign that leaves too many Americans and common sense behind", the statement said.


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