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Star Drops Trump Suit Over 'Rockin' in the Free World'

President, whose rallies have played the song, said he 'didn’t love it anyway'
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 8, 2020 3:32 PM CST

(Newser) – Neil Young has dropped his copyright infringement lawsuit against President Trump, whose rallies have played songs including "Rockin' in the Free World" and "Devil’s Sidewalk." Young, who said Trump rallies have used his songs since 2015 without a license, filed the suit in New York after a campaign event this summer in Tulsa. The case was dismissed at the request of the singer-songwriter, the Guardian reports, and he won't be able to refile it later. That's often a sign that a settlement was reached, per the Hollywood Reporter. But neither the Trump or the Young team has said whether that's why the suit was dropped.

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In 2016, Young said he had "nothing against" Trump or the use of his music. "He actually got a licence to use it. I mean, he said he did and I believe him," Young said. But his 2020 filing said Young "cannot allow his music to be used as a 'theme song' for a divisive, un-American campaign of ignorance and hate." Trump had said that "Rockin' in the Free World" was one of 10 songs played at rallies. "Didn’t love it anyway," the president said. Another music copyright suit against Trump is still in play: Eddy Grant has objected to the use of "Electric Avenue" in a Trump commercial video. The campaign is arguing that's allowable under the "fair use" doctrine. (Read more Neil Young stories.)

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