McCain, RNC Vs Browne Lawsuit Rolls On
February 23, 2009 at 5:19 AM (PT)
The UNITED STATES District Court for the Central District of CALIFORNIA has denied the motions of Senator JOHN MCCAIN and the REPUBLICAN NATIONAL COMMITTEE to dismiss the lawsuit brought by singer/songwriter JACKSON BROWNE for the unauthorized use of BROWNE's voice and famous song "Running On Empty" in a presidential campaign commercial.
BROWNE filed suit in AUGUST, 2008 for copyright infringement, false endorsement and violation of BROWNE's right of publicity. In a series of rulings on FEBRUARY 20th, 2008, UNITED STATES District Judge R. GARY KLAUSNER rejected the defendants' arguments that the First Amendment or copyright's fair use doctrine immunizes their unauthorized use of BROWNE's voice and song simply because such use occurred in the context of a political campaign commercial.
Among the rulings, the Court denied the defendants' special motion to strike (inaccurately dubbed a "countersuit" in some news reports) with respect to BROWNE's right of publicity claim. In another ruling, the Court dismissed the OHIO REPUBLICAN PARTY from the case on jurisdictional grounds, leaving BROWNE free to pursue his claims against it in OHIO.