Friday, November 21, 2008

Breaking Rock News today.

Only one story of note:

When John McCain used Jackson Browne's song "Running On Empty" in a campaign ad without the singer's permission, Browne sued. Now that the election is over, McCain has fired back at Browne with two 20-page motions. In the first motion, McCain seeks to have the charges dismissed, citing "fair use" of a song with "an acknowledged cliche" for a title. The lawyers say that rather than damaging the "commercial potential" of the song, the campaign ad likely increased it's popularity. In the second motion, McCain is seeking monetary compensation, claiming that Browne attempted to "chill" McCain's free speech. He is looking for legal fees and similar costs.

This may seem like a pretty innocuous story, and a pointless one now that the American election is long over. However, it's a bit of a bigger deal than that. The results of this case could determine how songs are used in future political campaigns. Heart forced Sarah Palin to stop using the song "Barracuda" in her campaign this year, but if McCain wins this legal battle, she could be freed up to use that song should she run in 2012, as everyone anticipates she will. (Her high school basketball nickname was Sarah Barracuda, since she was vicious. Which, I guess, is the persona she wants to put out there.)

Oh, and also, the new Bruce Springsteen song will debut on CHEZ at 10:00 this morning. That's kind of a big deal too. It's a great tune.

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