David Byrne, Steve Miller Fight Florida Senatorial Campaign Ads
Less than a year after Jackson Brown successfully sued John McCain for using “Running On Empty” without permission, David Byrne is suing Florida Governor Charlie Crist for using Talking Heads’ “Road To Nowhere” without asking anyone if it was OK. True, politicians don’t learn a thing: The 1985 Talking Heads song was featured in an ad attacking Crist’s Senatorial opponent, Republican Marc Rubio. It appeared on Crist’s website and, therefore, YouTube. Byrne, who found out about it from a friend in New York, is seeking $1 million, an estimated value of the song’s licensing rights. Warner Bros. contacted Crist’s people, who stopped using the ad, but as Byrne told Billboard:
In my opinion the damage had already been done by it being out there. People that I knew had seen (the ad), so it had gotten around … [The suit] is not about politics … It’s about copyright and about the fact that it does imply that I would have licensed it and endorsed him and whatever he stands for.
Crist, a longtime Republican, is running as an Independent.
Billboard reports Steve Miller, too, is currently wrangling with the Florida senatorial campaign: In this case, Rubio used “Take the Money and Run” for a YouTube ad that attacked Crist. Miller’s statement:
The Steve Miller Band and Steve Miller do not endorse Marco Rubio’s campaign or any political candidates and respectfully request that Mr. Rubio learn more about publishing law and intellectual property rights. I also ask that in the future he extends me the courtesy of asking permission before using my songs.