Newt Gingrich, fighting for the Republican Party’s nomination to challenge President Barack Obama in the 2012 election, was sued for unauthorized use of “Eye of the Tiger,” the Grammy-winning theme song from “Rocky III.”
Rude Music Inc., an Illinois corporation owned by Frank Sullivan, a co-author of the song, sued the candidate today in federal court in Chicago, seeking a court order blocking Gingrich’s unauthorized use of the song at campaign rallies. Rude Music is also seeking unspecified money damages.
Newt 2012 Inc. and the American Conservative Union, a political advocacy group, are also named as defendants in the five-page complaint.
“Newt 2012’s and Mr. Gingrich’s unauthorized public performance or inducement of or contribution to the public performance of the copyrighted work infringes Rude Music’s copyright,” according to the complaint.
Performed by the rock band Survivor, of which Sullivan was a founding member, “Eye of the Tiger” was released in 1982, topped the U.S. pop music charts and won a Grammy Award. It was also nominated for an Academy Award.
R.C. Hammond, a spokesman for the Gingrich campaign, didn’t immediately reply to an e-mailed request for comment on the lawsuit.
The case is Rude Music Inc. v. Newt 2012 Inc., 12-cv-00640, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois (Chicago).
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