Musician Don Henley will receive an undisclosed settlement from former California Republican gubernatorial candidate Chuck DeVore, following a June federal court ruling in Henley’s favor in his copyright infringement suit against the politician.
DeVore and his co-defendant, campaign Internet strategies director Justin Hart, also issued an apology: “We apologize for using the musical works of Don Henley, Mike Campbell and Danny Kortchmar without respect for their rights under copyright law. The court’s ruling in this case confirms that political candidates, regardless of affiliation, should seek appropriate license authority before they use copyrighted works.
“Further, we regret all inaccurate, derogatory or disparaging remarks made about Mr. Henley during the course of this dispute.”
Henley said in a statement of his own, “My colleagues and I brought this lawsuit to protect our music from being taken and used, without permission, to promote someone else’s agenda. It was not a question of political ideology, but the right of artists to control the use of the works they create, and protect their livelihoods.”
In April, Henley and Campbell sued DeVore and Hart, claiming they had misappropriated his hit songs “The Boys of Summer” (by Henley and Campbell) and “All She Wants to Do is Dance” (by Kortchmar) during DeVore’s primary campaign by duplicating their arrangements, changing their lyrics to bait Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer and employing them in Web ads. (He subsequently lost to Carly Fiorina.)
U.S. District Court Judge James Selna found that DeVore’s renditions of the song were not parodies protected by fair use statutes, but were infringing “satire” instead.
In May, David Byrne filed a similar suit against Florida Republican senatorial candidate Charlie Crist over the use of Talking Heads’ 1985 song “Road to Nowhere.”