Don Henley battles Republicans over YouTube video

Rock singer sues to prevent U.S. Senate candidate from using his music. Candidate says he has a First Amendment right to the song. YouTube is caught in the middle.

YouTube has become the battleground in a copyright fight between singer Don Henley and a Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate in California.

Henley, one of the founders of rock group The Eagles, has filed a lawsuit accusing Senate candidate Charles DeVore of violating his copyright. DeVore allegedly used two of Henley's hit songs "The Boys of Summer" and "All She Wants to Do Is Dance" in two YouTube campaign videos without authorization.

Charles DeVore speaks in a campaign video. Popmodal.com

"Don Henley and Mike Campbell (Henley's producer) brought this action to protect their song, 'The Boys of Summer,' which was taken and used without their permission," Henley's spokesman told CNN. "The infringers have vowed to continue exploiting this and other copyrighted works, as it suits them, to further their own ambitions and agenda. It was necessary to file a lawsuit to stop them."

DeVore, who used Henley's music to attack opponent Sen. Barbara Boxer, maintains he is authorized to use the music as part of his First Amendment right to political free speech.

"We're responding with a counter-claim, asserting our First Amendment right to political free speech," DeVore said on his site. "While the legal issues play out, it's time to up the ante on Mr. Henley's liberal goon tactics. By popular request, I have penned the words to our new parody song."

Leading up to the lawsuit, YouTube had removed DeVore's videos at Henley's request. DeVore then challenged Henley's claims and the videos went back up. YouTube informed Henley that it would only again remove the clips if he filed a lawsuit.

This isn't the first time a Republican has been accused of violating copyright for using music without authorization. Singer Jackson Browne filed suit against former Republican presidential nominee John McCain for allegedly using the song "Running on Empty" to attack Barack Obama in a campaign video.

 

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