Wednesday, April 13, 2011
David Byrne, Charlie Crist and a Public Apology
I have been following with great interest this line of cases where politicians have infringed upon artist's copyrights by using their songs in campaign commercials without permission. Apparently the most recent case involves Charlie Crist, the governor of Florida who used the Talking Heads song "Road to Nowhere" without permission. Crist, the former attorney general of the state of Florida should have known better--this really is stuff they teach you in law school.
Byrne sued for $1 million. The most interesting allegation in the complaint is his claim under the Lanham Act that by using Byrne's song without permission the governor is implying a false endorsement.
Byrne is a creative guy and he came up with a very creative remedy. Part of the settlement involved Crist making a public apology for his infringement. This is good. Its about time that politicians acknowledge that they have to respect intellectual property rights. See the video here: