CHICAGO, Nov. 20 (UPI) ─ Survivor frontman Frank Sullivan sued Republican presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee to stop him from using “Eye of the Tiger” while campaigning, particularly in support of embattled Kentucky county clerk Kim Davis.
Sullivan’s Rude Music sued Huckabee’s campaign for copyright infringement in Chicago federal court. The lawsuit accuses the former Arkansas governor of playing the iconic Rocky III theme song on Sept. 8 at an event in support of Kim Davis, who is entrenched in a legal battle after refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
The lawsuit alleges Huckabee “is sophisticated and knowledgeable concerning the copyright laws” and willfully used “Eye of the Tiger” to damage Rude Music.
Huckabee’s campaign suggested Sullivan and Rude Music were trying to shake them down by “demanding an amount of money that exceeds the average yearly salary of a hard-working American simply because a snippet of his song was played briefly at a rally.”
“The campaign offered Mr. Sullivan fair compensation, but that offer was rejected. We refuse to be bullied,” Huckabee spokeswoman Alice Stewart told CNN.
Sullivan first expressed his dismay with Huckabee’s use of the song in September. In 2012, he sued Newt Gingrich for using “Eye of the Tiger.”
More musicians have been taking a stand against their songs’ use at political rallies in recent years.
Tom Petty, Katrina and the Wave, David Byrne and Don Henley have made similar complaints against candidates in recent years.