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Neil Young takes legal action against Trump’s campaign for swiping his music

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Singer Neil Young performs on Nov. 9, 2014. Photo by Kris Krug via Flickr Creative Commons.

Rock legend Neil Young announced plans to sue President Donald Trump for using songs without permission at campaign events.

The musician had asked the Trump campaign to stop playing “Rockin’ In The Free World” — which he first played at an event announcing his candidacy — and other songs from his lengthy career, but Young finally saw enough after federal agents clashed with protesters in Portland and elsewhere, reported Stereogum.

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“There is a long history to consider and I originally considered it, deciding not to pursue,” Young said last week. “But then President Trump ordered thugs in uniform into our streets. His idea. He ordered this himself. This is all DJT. He told them to wear camouflage, use unmarked vehicles to take people away, innocent people peacefully protesting — their constitutional right as US citizens. Trump’s troopers attacked a NAVY Vet, who was presenting no threat to them, despite their lame excuses.”

The 74-year-old Young posted a copyright infringement complaint on his archival website against the Trump campaign, although it’s not clear the suit has been officially filed yet.

“[The campaign] does not now have, and did not at the time of the Tulsa rally, have a license or Plaintiff’s permission” to play Young’s songs ‘Rockin’ In The Fee World’ and ‘Devil’s Sidewalk,'” the complaint states. “[Young] 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 intends to seek the maximum amount in statutory damages allowed for “willful copyright infringement.”


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