NEWS AMERICAS, NEW YORK, NY, Tues. 18, 2020: An award-winning Caribbean singer is suing Donald Trump’s campaign for unauthorized use of his 1983 US chart topper.
Guyana-born, Barbados-based singer, songwriter and producer, Eddy Grant, is taking legal action against the Trump campaign team for unauthorised use of his hit ‘Electric Avenue,’ LOOPTT News reports indicate.
It comes on the heels of an animated video posted to the personal Twitter account of Dan Scavino, White House Deputy Chief of Staff, which plays unflattering audio quotes from Democratic Presidential candidate, Vice President Joe Biden, to the tune of Grant’s ‘Electric Avenue.’
Grant, in a press statement said: “In my particular case, they have sought to encapsulate my intellectual property into derogatory political rhetoric, further encapsulated in a video production that can only be construed at best as being wicked, thereby causing me considerable emotional distress.”
Grant’s legal counsel, Wallace E.J. Collins, has issued a cease and desist letter to the Trump campaign team stating that Grant is the singer/songwriter and sole and exclusive rightful copyright owner of the musical composition and sound recording of ‘Electric Avenue.’
Collins stated in the letter: “You have made an unauthorised use of our copyrighted work in connection with the political campaign of Donald Trump. As a result of your wrongful unauthorised infringing Use in connection with your controversial political campaign, substantial damage and irreparable harm has occurred and will continue to occur to my client and his reputation as an artist when affiliated in any way with your campaign.”
Collins said that as an artist, Grant has always had a reputation for standing for truth and justice for all and that this will be seriously undermined by any affiliation with the name Trump, in this political context.
“Such damage will extend to the value of my client’s musical catalogue,” he added.
According to Collins, the Trump campaign team neither asked for nor received permission to use the Electric Avenue under U.S.C. Section 101 et seq., and that they should be held liable for statutory damages as set forth in Section 504 (c)(2) therein.
Collins is demanding that the Trump campaign immediately cease and desist from any further use “or exploitation” of the song. He also demanded that the Trump team “hold any monies arising out of or relating to your campaign and attributable to the infringing use of ‘Electric Avenue’, until “the matter is fully and fairly resolved.”
“We prefer to resolve this dispute expeditiously, in order to avoid time consuming and costly litigation and the negative publicity that can surround the unauthorised use of such an iconic musical composition especially where the use indicates a fundamental misunderstanding of the very meaning of the underlying work (Electric Avenue),” added the letter.
Grant’s attorney claims that he will seek statutory damages and injunctive relief and goes on to note that the use of Grant’s copyrighted material in connection with campaign material “is a serious transgression and could subject you to upwards of an $100,000,000 in monetary damages.”
Trump’s campaign has not commented on the lawsuit.