Trump’s reelection campaign repeatedly played Young’s songs “Rockin’ in the Free World” and “Devil’s Sidewalk” at several rallies without seeking permission, according to court papers filed by Young’s attorneys.
According to the filings, his songs were also played at the June 20 rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, a rally that generated widespread criticism for taking place amidst the Covid-19 pandemic.
Young is seeking as much as $150,000 per each copyright infringement and asking that Trump’s campaign do not play his songs ever again, according to the complaint.
“This complaint is not intended to disrespect the rights and opinions of American citizens, who are free to support the candidate of their choosing,” Young’s lawyers wrote in the complaint, which was filed on Tuesday in the Southern District of New York and posted on the artist’s website.
“However, Plaintiff in good conscience cannot allow his music to be used as a ‘theme song’ for a divisive, un-American campaign of ignorance and hate.”
Young, a two-time Grammy-winning artist has previously blasted Trump’s campaign for using his songs.
“I stand in solidarity with the Lakota Sioux & this is NOT ok with me,” Young tweeted in response to a video showing “Rockin’ in the Free World” being played before the President’s July 3 rally at Mount Rushmore.
Back in 2016, Young told Reuters that he would have liked the Trump campaign to ask for permission to use the song before it was played at rallies. Trump’s campaign had issued a statement saying it obtained a license to do so, Young’s lawyers said in the complaint.
This time around, the campaign has “willfully ignored” Young’s requests to stop playing his songs despite knowing that a license is necessary, they continued.