Attorney Lawrence Iser yesterday issued a press release formally responding to John McCain’s lawyers’ filings in response to Jackson Browne’s lawsuit against McCain and the Republican parties (both National and in Ohio) over the unauthorized use of “Running on Empty”. (Phwew. This is already getting confusing and long-winded and we haven’t even gotten to trial yet.)
“This case has nothing to do with selling records. Jackson Browne sued Senator McCain and his party because they failed to obtain permission to use Jackson’s famous song and voice in their commercial. Copyrights for songs, like books and movies, are expressly protected by the United States Constitution. In their response to the Complaint, Senator McCain and his party contend that it is ‘fair’ for a candidate to incorporate the artistry of musicians, actors and writers into their campaigns without permission or compensation, with the ultimate result that these artists become unwitting endorsers of the candidate. Musicians, actors, record companies and movie studios should all be concerned by this direct assault on their constitutional and creative rights. Artists have the right to be paid for their work. We are confident that the Court and ultimately the jury will agree. We do not intend to respond further at this time, except through our court filings,” Jackson Browne’s attorney, Lawrence Iser of the Santa Monica, California law firm Kinsella Weitzman Iser Kump & Aldisert.