Donald Trump has been using Neil Young songs at his campaign rallies for years now — he literally first announced his candidacy to “Rockin’ In The Free World” — and Neil Young has been annoyed at Donald Trump for using Neil Young songs at his campaign rallies for about as long. Just last week, following Neil Young-soundtracked rallies in Tulsa and Mount Rushmore, Young announced that he was considering suing Trump over the issue:
I am changing my mind about suing Donald Trump. Reconsidering. I am looking at it again. There is a long history to consider and I originally considered it, deciding not to pursue. 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.
It seems like Young is now doing more than just considering a lawsuit. Today, he’s posted a legal complaint to his Neil Young Archives website with the caption “Action against Trump Campaign begins.” Per The Hollywood Reporter, the suit was filed in New York federal court. It states that Trump’s 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” and that Young “in good conscience cannot allow his music to be used a ‘theme song’ for a divisive, un-American campaign of ignorance and hate.” Young intends to seek “statutory damages in the maximum amount allowed for willful copyright infringement.”