Mike Huckabee Pays $25,000 For Unauthorized Use of ‘Eye of the Tiger’ At Anti-Gay Marriage Rally

Former Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee paid $25,000 in a settlement of claims that he played Survivor’s “Eye of the Tiger” at a rally last year without the band’s permission.

The former Arkansas governor, used the song during a September rally for Kim Davis, the Kentucky county clerk who refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples following the Supreme Court’s landmark decision in Obergefell v. Hodges.

Rude Music, the company which owns the rights to the Survivor song, sued Mr. Huckabee for copyright infringement and settled with his campaign out of court.

CNN Money discovered the settlement amount after it appeared in a campaign finance filing that Huckabee’s campaign filed with federal election officials last week. Huckabee listed the $25,000 cost as a campaign expense on federal election records.

Yahoo! Music reports:

Huckabee’s attorneys had argued that the use of “Eye of the Tiger” to introduce Davis was a fair use and that the rally was not a campaign event but a religious assembly. At the rally, the song was played as Huckabee escorted Davis after she was released from jail for refusing to issue the licenses.

His attorneys argued that Huckabee himself is a musician and is familiar with copyright laws. In their legal filings, they noted that in 2008, the founder of the band Boston demanded that Huckabee’s campaign stop playing “More Than a Feeling” at campaign events.

A number of campaigns have been hit with legal claims for the unauthorized use of music at campaign events and other activity. John McCain’s campaign, the Republican National Committee and the Ohio Republican Party in 2009 settled a lawsuit filed by Jackson Browne over the use of “Running on Empty” in a campaign advertisement. The settlement was reportedly for a six-figure sum.

More recently, a number of artists have requested that Donald Trump’s campaign stop playing their music at rallies, although Trump’s campaign has insisted that their use has been legal because they have licensed the works from performing rights agencies.