respect the classics

Neil Young Wants to Live, He Wants to Give, He’s Suing Donald Trump for Copyright Infringement

Photo: Gary Miller/Getty Images for Shock Ink

Hollywood? Boring. The Redwoods? Overrated. The White House? Ah, now we’re talking. Neil Young, who has enjoyed writing scathing letters to Donald Trump ever since becoming an American citizen earlier this year, has opted to sue the president for the repeated use of his songs at campaign events. Rolling Stone reports that Young is pursuing a copyright infringement lawsuit, which stems from the Trump campaign using noted bangers “Rockin’ in the Free World” and “Devil’s Sidewalk” on several occasions during 2020 political rallies and stops. The lawsuit states that the campaign “does not now have, and did not have” a license or Young’s permission to play the two songs, and is thus seeking “statutory damages in the maximum amount allowed for willful copyright infringement.” Young threatened in July to sue Trump, but noted that his legal options were slim if the correct licensing fees were paid.

In his most recent open letter to Trump (who has a long history of admiring Young’s musical talents), Young wrote how much of a shitshow his administration’s response to the coronavirus pandemic has been. He also previously stated that Trump is “a disgrace to my country” who is causing “unforgivable” destruction. “We are going to vote you out,” Young stated in February, “and make America great again.” Three months until we find out.

Neil Young Sues Donald Trump for Campaign Song Usage