Neil Young is suing Donald Trump for the unauthorised use of his music

"The Campaign has wilfully ignored Plaintiff’s telling it not to play the songs"

Neil Young is suing US President Donald Trump over the unauthorised use of his music at his campaign rallies.

Young today (August 4) posted a lawsuit against Trump’s campaign on his Archives website, claiming the US President does not have proper license to play his songs at his campaign rallies. It’s not yet clear if the suit has been filed officially.

After initially taking to Twitter to once again voice his disapproval of the unauthorised use of this songs last month, Young then wrote an open letter to the President, saying he wouldn’t take legal action because he didn’t want to distract government efforts to battle the coronavirus pandemic. However, that now appears to have changed.


“The Campaign has wilfully ignored Plaintiff’s telling it not to play the songs and wilfully proceeded to play the songs despite a lack of license,” the lawsuit reads on Young’s website.

It continues: “The Campaign does not now have, and did not at the time of the Tulsa rally, have a license or Plaintiff’s permission to play the two Songs at any public political event.”

The lawsuit adds that Young is seeking “statutory damages in the maximum amount allowed for wilful copyright infringement.”

The President’s campaign team has yet to respond.

Neil Young
Neil Young. CREDIT: Ross Gilmore/Redferns

Young published a blog post last month once again criticising Trump for using his music without permission at his rallies. The singer has shared multiple open letters on his website condemning the President’s continued unauthorised use of his music.


“Imagine what it feels like to hear Rockin’ in the Free World after this president speaks, like it is his theme song,” Young wrote in the blog post last month. “I did not write it for that.”

He also shared a new live performance of his 2006 song, ‘Lookin’ for a Leader’ last month (July 30) with edited lyrics that criticised Trump’s presidency.

The new lyrics reflect Young’s support for the Black Lives Matter movement, his admiration for Barack Obama and his contempt for Trump. “Yeah, we had Barack Obama/And we really need him now/The man who stood behind him/Has to take his place somehow.”

Trump was recently served with a cease and desist order by Linkin Park for the unauthorised use of their track ‘In The End’ at rallies, following the likes of Dexys Midnight RunnersPanic! At The Disco, and The Rolling Stones in demanding that the President doesn’t use their music at public events.

You May Like