John McCain Apologizes To Jackson Browne, Settles Dispute Over 'Running On Empty'

John McCain

Sen. John McCain has apologized for using a portion of Jackson Browne's "Running on Empty" in a campaign ad that ran on YouTube last year.

McCain, the Republican National Committee and the Ohio Republican Party also promised "to respect and uphold the rights of artists and to obtain permissions and/or licenses for copyrighted works where appropriate" in the future.

"Although Senator McCain had no knowledge of, or involvement in, the creation or distribution of the Web campaign video, Senator McCain does not support or condone any actions taken by anyone involved in his 2008 presidential election campaign that were inconsistent with artists' rights or the various legal protections afforded to intellectual property," McCain, the Republican National Committee and Ohio Republican Party said in a statement issued Wednesday.

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The statement was part of a settlement of a copyright infringement lawsuit filed by Browne against McCain and his presidential campaign. Financial terms of the settlement were not disclosed.

Browne's lawsuit was sparked by an 80-second ad that used the well-known Democrat's 1977 "Running on Empty" as its soundtrack. The ad criticized Barack Obama's energy policy.

Among other allegations, Browne argued that the use of the song infringed on his copyright and his right to control the commercial use of his image.

Earlier this year, U.S. District Court Judge R. Gary Klausner in Los Angeles rejected arguments by McCain and the Republican National Committee that the case should be dismissed before trial. McCain and the Republican National Committee had argued that the ad made fair use of the song and that the spot was a form of political speech.

 

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