Mike Huckabee Sued for Using Rocky III Theme Song
Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee has been sued by Survivor band member, guitarist and songwriter Frankie Sullivan for using his 1982 hit “Eye of the Tiger” at a campaign stop in Kentucky.
The lawsuit was filed in federal court in Chicago on Wednesday by copyright holder Rude Music, which is owned by Sullivan. It alleges that Huckabee violated copyright law when he played the song at a rally in September that featured Kim Davis, the former county clerk who became a symbol of the Republican party after she refused to issue marriage licenses to gay couples. It blared as Davis emerged from Carter County Detention Center — where she was serving time for her actions.
At the time, a message appeared on Survivor’s Facebook page saying, “NO! We did not grant Kim Davis any rights to use ‘My Tune -The Eye Of The Tiger.’ I would not grant her the rights to use Charmin! C’mom Mike, you are not The Donald but you can do better than that.”
Now they are seeking compensation “in an amount to be determined by the Court,” and that the Huckabee campaign be ordered to stop using the song. The suit, which you can read in its entirely below, recalls that “Eye of the Tiger” was “the principal theme song for the movie Rocky III [that] achieved number one status in the United States and throughout the world.”
This isn’t the first time Survivor has sued a GOP candidate for using the song. In 2012, Rude Music sued former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich for playing it at his campaign rallies. That case was eventually settled, but it doesn’t seem like the Huckabee campaign is willing to budge on Sullivan’s demands.
A senior communications advisor from the Huckabee campaign released a statement to MSNBC saying, “Mr. Sullivan is demanding an amount of money that exceeds the average yearly salary of a hard-working American simply because a snippet of his song was played briefly at a rally. … The campaign offered Mr. Sullivan fair compensation, but that offer was rejected. We refuse to be bullied.”
I’m pretty sure that’s what Kim Davis’s victims said when she threw them out of her clerk’s office. We’ll see how this turns out.