14 January 2016Copyright

Huckabee: no copyright infringement at ‘religious assembly’ in support of Kim Davis

Republican presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee has claimed that the use of the song “Eye of the Tiger” at a rally he attended to support Kentucky-based marriage clerk Kim Davis did not infringe copyright because it was used at a “religious assembly”.

In a court filing on January 4, Huckabee said that US copyright law “provides in part that the performance of a nondramatic literary or musical work in the course of services at a place of worship ‘or other religious assembly’ is not an infringement of copyright”.

Frank Sullivan, former member of the band Survivor and co-author of the 1982 hit, sued Huckabee for copyright infringement at the US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois last year.

The lawsuit was sparked by an event Huckabee attended in September last year called “We Stand with God Pro Family Rally”. During the event, held in Kentucky, both Huckabee and Davis entered the stage to the opening bars of the song.

Davis hit the headlines last year after she refused to sign marriage certificates for same-sex couples. Her refusal followed the US Supreme Court’s June decision in  Obergefell v Hodgeswhich found that state laws banning same-sex marriages were unconstitutional.

Huckabee defended the use of the song, stating that it was protected under the fair use doctrine and that the event was a “religious assembly”.

Huckabee added that only a small portion of the track was used and that he did not profit commercially from the use of the song.

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More on this story

20 November 2015   The author of the hit song “Eye of the Tiger” has sued Republican presidential candidate hopeful Mike Huckabee for the alleged unauthorised use of the track at a rally against gay marriage.
30 June 2016   Former US presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee has settled a copyright dispute with the band Survivor that centred on his use of the song “Eye of the Tiger” during a rally with a prominent county clerk who opposed same sex marriage.