Will Rocky Fans Vote for Newt? Not if He’s Found Liable for Infringing Sacred Survivor Song, "Eye of the Tiger"

Will Rocky Fans Vote for Newt? Not if He’s Found Liable for Infringing Sacred Survivor Song, "Eye of the Tiger"

Imagine Newt Gingrich in Rocky 3 ... the gray headed politician slugging it out with Mr. T, Survivor's theme song, Eye of the Tiger, playing (but with the lyrics a little different):

It's the eye of the Newt
It's the thrill of the fight
Risin' up to the challenge
Of our Romney

The weak attempt at lyricism aside, Newt Gingrich and the song are now attached at the legal hip. In a recent complaint, founding Survivor member, Frank M. Sullivan III (d/b/a Rude Music), has sued Mr. Gingrich for infringing Eye of the Tiger's copyright.

According to the complaint, Mr. Gingrich has infringed the copyright by attending conferences and events with Eye of the Tiger playing over the PA system. These conferences and events include:

  • the Conservative Political Action Conference in 2009, 2010 and 2011;
  • the Southern Republican Leadership Conference in 2010; and
  • numerous campaign appearances

In addressing willfulness, the complaint highlights Mr. Gingrich's copyright knowledge by underscoring his extensive personal copyright holdings. It then follows up with the critical comments he made regarding the Stop Online Piracy Act. The complaint reads:

Mr. Gingrich is sophisticated and knowledgeable concerning the copyright laws, both as a private individual and business owner, and as a former elected official. According to the records of the United States Copyright Office, Mr. Gingrich is the author or co-author of over forty copyrighted works. During his tenure in the United States House of Representatives, the Copyright Act was extensively amended. Mr. Gingrich is chief executive officer of Gingrich Productions, Inc., a Washington, D.C. multimedia production company that features the work of Mr. Gingrich and his wife, Callista Gingrich. Through Gingrich Productions, Inc., they have produced historical and public policy documentaries, produced photographic essays, written books, and recorded audio books. According to election disclosure filings, Mr. Gingrich earned between $500,000 and $1,000,000 from Gingrich Productions, and in a recent interview, he estimated that he could have sold could be "hundreds of thousands." Moreover, Newt 2012 also has a legal team. Finally, at a recent debate in South Carolina, Mr. Gingrich criticized the proposed Stop Online Piracy Act, stating, "We have a patent office, we have copyright law. If a company finds that it has genuinely been infringed upon, it has the right to sue...."

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