Newt Gingrich sued over "Eye of the Tiger"


WALTERBORO, SC - JANUARY 19: Republican presidential candidate and former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich speaks during a campaign stop at the Low Country Sportsmen BBQ for Newt event on January 19, 2012 in Walterboro, South Carolina. Newt received an endorsement from Texas Governor Rick Perry who dropped out of the race for the Republican nomination for President. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)


Joe Raedle

Frank M. Sullivan, a former member of the band Survivor, didn’t appreciate Newt Gingrich’s use of the song “Eye of the Tiger” during his political appearances.

The song, co-written by Sullivan, was a #1 hit in 1982 when it was used for the movie Rocky III.

TMZ first reported that a lawsuit was filed by Sullivan’s production company Rude Music, earlier today. The lawsuit claims that Gingrich has been using the song since 2009 at various political appearances, including his entrances at Conservative Political Action Conferences.

Annette McGarry, Sullivan’s lawyer, told The Chicago Tribune, “This has nothing to do with politics. This is a copyright issue... We've tried to deal with them for months, and they've been trying to ignore it.”

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CBS News noted that this isn’t the first instance of a politician running into copyright trouble with music: David Byrne sued former Governor Charlie Crist, Jackson Browne sued John McCain, Tom Petty issued a “cease and desist” letter to Michele Bachmann on one occasion and also to former President George W. Bush.

The Guardian added President Barack Obama to the list, as he received a “cease and desist” letter from Sam Moore in 2008 for his hit “Hold On! I’m Comin,’” and German Chancellor Angela Merkel heard some grumbling from the Rolling Stones over her use of “Angie” in 2005.

Meanwhile, Gingrich promised a come back on Monday, a day before the Florida primaries, saying, “We were dead in June and July, but we came roaring back and we will again.”

"He likes to walk in like a fighter entering the ring," McGarry told The Tribune. "He should have to pay for it.

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A clip of the song playing during Gingrich’s 2011 CPAC appearance: