Eddy Grant sues Trump campaign over use of song

Eddy Grant sues Trump campaign over use of song
© Getty Images

Musician Eddy Grant sued President TrumpDonald TrumpJan. 6 committee chair says panel will issue a 'good number' of additional subpoenas Overnight Defense & National Security — Presented by AM General — Pentagon officials prepare for grilling Biden nominates head of Africa CDC to lead global AIDS response MORE's reelection campaign on Tuesday, alleging that it was infringing on his copyrights to the hit song "Electric Avenue."

Grant filed the complaint in federal court in New York in response to a video Trump promoted on his Twitter account on Aug. 12 that attacked Democratic presidential nominee Joe BidenJoe BidenFord to bolster electric vehicle production in multi-billion dollar push Protesters demonstrate outside Manchin's houseboat over opposition to reconciliation package Alabama eyes using pandemic relief funds on prison system MORE. Grant argued in the complaint that the president and his campaign "have continued to willfully and wrongfully infringe Plaintiffs' copyrights." 

"As of the date of this filing, the infringing video is still available on Twitter," Grant stated in the complaint, which argued that the campaign's use of his music was unlawful.

ADVERTISEMENT

The Trump campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Hill. 

The Aug. 12 video, which has been viewed nearly 14 million times on Twitter, includes "Electronic Avenue" in the background as the campaign attempts to portray a contrast between the president and Biden. The animated video shows a train with the Trump campaign's logo followed by a railroad handcar the former vice president is manually operating. 

Wallace E.J. Collins, Grant's legal counsel, issued a cease-and-desist letter to the Trump campaign just a day after the video was posted on Twitter, according to a statement on the singer's website. In the letter, Collins said Grant was the exclusive copyright owner of "Electric Avenue" and that the song being used by the campaign would result continued harm of the musician's reputation. 

“If you know my client’s reputation, then you know that this Infringing Use in connection with the name Trump in a political context is a serious transgression,” Collins said, requesting the campaign immediately stop using the song. 

ADVERTISEMENT

Grant added, "I call upon such arbiter, as is responsible for this sordid abuse, to come forward like a man and let’s sort this thing out, in the way that America demands when such issues are to be sorted, especially when they are wrong."

Grant alleged on Tuesday that the campaign will continue to use his music unless blocked by the court. 

Grant's complaint adds to a chorus of musicians who have spoken out over the Trump campaign's use of their songs in recent years. Artists including Adele, Elton John and Rihanna have either disavowed or threatened legal action over the Trump campaign's use of their music. 

Neil Young in early August filed a copyright infringement lawsuit alleging the campaign was playing his music without proper licensing.