Copyright: The Mark of McCain
Shortly after I started this blog in 2005 I reported on a spat between Angela Merkel and the Rolling Stones over her use of their classic Angie as their campaign anthem (see "Stoned! The Difference between Copyright and Rights in Performances" 23 Aug 2005). It now looks as if presidential hopeful John McCain is in similar lumber with Jackson Browne over "Running on Empty" though he is applying to strike out the claim (see Ben Shefner's "Copyrights & Campaigns" 24 Jan 2009). Ben, who advised McCain, links through to sites from which you can actually read what we would probably call "skellies" - that is, if you can bear to trawl through 53 pages of argument on behalf of McCain, 25 for Browne and 14 of McCain's reply.
Much more entertaining are the voces populi on the TMZ site to which Ben links. A lady called Melissa writes:
"Glad he didn't win the Presidency but here's hoping he wins this one. I hate whiny washed up actors/musicians/dancers who think they are still relevant."
On the other hand, Assamite writes:
" I believe the term that fits is "using the song for personal gain". Which of course MacJ was doing. Since the song itself is not within public domain, the rights to the song and how it may be used belong to the artist. MacJ should just wrap his shredded linen shrouds about his stooped shoulders, shuffle back to his sarcaphogus (sic?), pull the lid closed and shut his whiney ass up!"
Speaking as a foreigner, I have to say that McCain may have been one of the best presidents America never had. I am not talking about the 2008 election. Had I been an American I would certainly have voted for Obama. But I think he would have made a much better fist of the last 8 years had he been the Republican candidate in 2000 rather than Bush. Even in this election McCain had his moments. His concession speech was full of grace and generosity.
The return date for the application is 2 Feb 2009 at 09:00. I will follow Ben's blog and other US sources and let you know what happens.