Of all the left-leaning classic rockers that took offence to the McCain campaigns use of their material, Jackson Browne appears to be the only real pit bull in the pack, and is not giving up easily in his efforts to punish McCain for the use of his hit song “Running on Empty” as part of a television ad during the long, and often nasty campaign.
In response to Browne’s lawsuit for the “violation of his publicity rights, copyright infringement and a false endorsement,” the McCain camp is firing back with some legal action of their own.
McCain’s legal team has filed two motions including a motion to dismiss the case on grounds that the use of Browne’s material was protected by the fair use provisions that are part of federal copyright law.
McCain is also deflecting blame away from his campaign by claiming that the commercial in question was actually created by the Ohio Republican Party.
In addition to the motion to dismiss the case, McCain is also seeking seeking to recover attorney’s fees and court costs that resulted from having to defend himself in what he refers to as a "frivolous" action.
In some comments that may be reminiscent of the jabs that he and President-elect Obama exchanged during the campaign for the highest office in the land, McCain said that Browne’s motive for suing him was due to Browne being “…desperate for publicity to boost his career.” McCain also indicated that the publicity surrounding this case would probably provide a boost in popularity for the 1978 hit.
Although the McCain-Browne dust-up is the only one that seems to be outlasting the campaign itself, other notable rockers who were reportedly unhappy with the McCain campaign’s use of their music include Ann and Nancy Wilson of Heart, Bon Jovi, John Mellencamp, and Foo Fighters. So far, no word of any lawsuits from other angry artists has surfaced.