Don Henley battling California Republican over use of songTue Apr 21, 2009 @ 12:57AM PST
By Eriq Gardner
Henley is suing Charles DeVore, the California Republican running for Barbara Boxer's U.S. Senate seat, over the use of his songs "Boys of Summer" and "All She Wants to Do is Dance." The complaint, filed in California District Court, alleges that DeVore copied the compositions "note for note" to promote the candidate's "personal and professional agenda."
Previously, Jackson Browne sued John McCain for using the hit song "Running on Empty" in a campaign spot to ridicule Obama's energy plan. That case is still pending.
The big difference between the two cases is that McCain used the original song, allowing Browne to complain that McCain violated his rights of publicity by showcasing his voice. Here, DeVore's campaign is accused of re-writing the lyrics and posting the resulting product on YouTube. In essence, Henley's complaint relies on the notion that a court will protect the copyright of his composition — a bit of a tougher challenge.