Reggae great Eddy Grant is taking U.S. leader Donald Trump's re-election campaign officials to court over the unauthorised use of his hit "Electric Avenue".
The "I Don't Wanna Dance" singer's 1983 tune soundtracks an animated ad featuring a speeding train with the words "Trump Pence" printed on the side, zipping through an empty town, as a cartoon version of White House challenger Joe Biden trails behind.
The controversial Republican Party leader posted the commercial without a caption on Twitter in mid-August (20), prompting legal representatives for Grant to immediately fire off a cease-and-desist notice to have the ad taken down. The notice was apparently ignored, as the video remains online, and on Tuesday (01Sep20), the musician's attorney, Brian Caplan, filed suit in New York.
He tells Billboard, "You need to get a synchronisation license when you sync music to video. This is copyright 101. You need to have a license and nobody in his campaign with a straight face could say he has the absolute right to do this."
Caplan notes the Guyanese-British star owns the master recording for "Electric Avenue" and was never even approached about the ad, and now he is demanding a jury trial for the return of profits, payment for licensing fees, and statutory damages, as well as the removal of the video and permanent injunction against future use.
"Eddy stands for peace and justice and this ad is not consistent with the ideals Eddy has stood for and sung about for years," Caplan adds.
Grant isn't the first artist to take Trump campaign chiefs to court – rocker Neil Young filed suit last month (Aug20) after objecting to having his music played at his rallies.
Representatives for Trump have yet to comment on the news.