Billboard.com’s got the story on David Byrne’s lawsuit against Charlie Crist for alleged use of “Road to Nowhere.”
Byrne’s attorney Lawrence Iser — who also represented Jackson Browne in his successful suit against 2008 Republican presidential candidate John McCain’s illegal use of his song “Running on Empty” — says that the Crist campaign did not obtain either a synchronization license required to use Byrne’s composition or a master use license for the Talking Heads’ recording. The ad also violates the Lanham Act of the U.S. Trade Statue, implying a false endorsement of Crist by Byrne.
“I was fairly astonished that this soon after the settlement of Browne vs. McCain, yet another politician with national aspirations is doing this again,” Iser says. “We just a year ago settled Browne vs. McCain, and the defendants there — including the Repbulican National Party — made a pledge…they would respect artists rights and license copyrighted works. To have it happen again in January is fairly shocking. They can’t say, ‘We didn’t know that you have to get a license to use songs in commercials.’…They absolutely did know.”