Republicans may have won seven of the last eleven presidential elections, but despite that success, there’s still one area in which the Grand Old Party lags noticeably behind: musician support. With an overwhelming majority of bands supporting liberal causes, it’s often difficult for conservative candidates to find music for the campaign trail. Last year, Michele Bachmann was slapped with a cease and desist letter from Tom Petty’s lawyers for commandeering “American Girl”, and now Newt Gingrich is being sued for using “Eye Of The Tiger”.

Written by guitarist Frank Sullivan and lead singer Jim Peterik of the band Survivor, the track reached number one in 1982 and served as the theme for “Rocky III”. It’s received near constant airplay and a healthy number of covers every year since, but apparently Sullivan isn’t so happy with the former Speaker using it before speeches and in videos. He claims he was never asked, and as such, his lawsuit demands Gingrich stop using the song immediately and further pay damages and court fees. According to The LA Times, the filing, perhaps a bit cattily, points out the candidate has made quite a bit of money in the past through his own copyrighted material, and therefore, should have known he needed permission.

Now, there’s two separate issues in play here. The first is that Sullivan contends Gingrich has used the track during campaign appearances. If he never asked Newt to stop, that, to me, isn’t worth any monetary damages. There’s also a second issue of campaign videos utilizing the track though, and that seems like it might be more deserving of compensation.

Regardless, don’t look for Newt to be getting his Rocky on anytime soon. He might be claiming he’ll shake up the status quo, but I highly doubt that involves further pissing off a copyright holder.



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