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Henley settles case against Cal. politician for illegal song use

Friday, August 6, 2010 – After winning a federal court ruling in June hat the use of their copyrighted songs in campaign ads was infringing, Don Henley of The Eagles, Mike Campbell and Danny Kortchmar settled their damages claims against California politician Chuck DeVore and campaign worker Justin Hart for an undisclosed amount, it was announced Thursday.

"My colleagues and I brought this lawsuit to protect our music from being taken and used, without permission, to promote someone else's agenda. It was not a question of political ideology, but the right of artists to control the use of the works they create, and protect their livelihoods."

The lawsuit was filed after DeVore and Hart made videos using the Henley hit songs The Boys of Summer, written by Henley and Campbell, and All She Wants To Do Is Dance, written by Kortchmar, to promote DeVore's recent attempt to run for the U.S. Senate.

DeVore and Hart posted the campaign ads on YouTube and other sites. Rejecting the defendants' claim that the videos were fair use "parodies," the court found that the defendants' use of the songs violated the plaintiffs' copyrights.

DeVore and Hart issued the following statement: "We apologize for using the musical works of Don Henley, Mike Campbell and Danny Kortchmar without respect for their rights under copyright law. The court's ruling in this case confirms that political candidates, regardless of affiliation, should seek appropriate license authority before they use copyrighted works.

"Further, we regret all inaccurate, derogatory or disparaging remarks made about Mr. Henley during the course of this dispute."

Henley said, "My colleagues and I brought this lawsuit to protect our music from being taken and used, without permission, to promote someone else's agenda. It was not a question of political ideology, but the right of artists to control the use of the works they create, and protect their livelihoods."

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