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Mike Huckabee’s Campaign Pays $25,000 for Unauthorized Use of ‘Eye of the Tiger’

Mike Huckabee Eye of the Tiger
Matt Baron/REX/Shutterstock

Mike Huckabee’s presidential campaign paid $25,000 in a settlement of claims that they used Survivor’s “Eye of the Tiger” at a rally with Kim Davis, the Kentucky clerk who refused to issue same-sex marriage licenses.

The settlement amount, first reported by CNN, appeared in a campaign finance filing that Huckabee’s campaign filed with federal election officials last week.

Huckabee’s attorneys had argued that the use of “Eye of the Tiger” to introduce Davis was a fair use and that the rally was not a campaign event but a religious assembly. At the rally, the song was played as Huckabee escorted Davis after she was released from jail for refusing to issue the licenses.

The case was filed by Rude Music, which is owned by Survivor founding member Frank Sullivan, who co-authored the song. According to court records, it was dismissed in early May following a settlement.

His attorneys argued that Huckabee himself is a musician and is familiar with copyright laws. In their legal filings, they noted that in 2008, the founder of the band Boston demanded that Huckabee’s campaign stop playing “More Than a Feeling” at campaign events.

A number of campaigns have been hit with legal claims for the unauthorized use of music at campaign events and other activity. John McCain’s campaign, the Republican National Committee and the Ohio Republican Party in 2009 settled a lawsuit filed by Jackson Browne over the use of “Running on Empty” in a campaign advertisement. The settlement was reportedly for a six-figure sum.

More recently, a number of artists have requested that Donald Trump’s campaign stop playing their music at rallies, although Trump’s campaign has insisted that their use has been legal because they have licensed the works from performing rights agencies.