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Road to court

David Byrne, former Talking Heads frontman is suing Florida Governor Charlie Crist for $1million after the senatorial candidate used one of his songs without asking permission. Byrne’s legal team filed the lawsuit yesterday saying that Crist’s use of the Talking Heads classic Road To Nowhere in a campaign advert broke copyright.

Byrne insists that his objection to the use has nothing to do with his own personal politics, but unauthorised use of his music. The singer's legal team (led by Lawrence Iser, who represented Jackson Browne against John McCain when he sued the presidential candidate for his illegal use of 'Running On Empty') came up with the $1million figure after having been offered that on previous occasions by advertising companies who wanted to use his songs.

‘(It) is not about politics,’ Byrne said to Billboard. ‘It's about copyright and about the fact that it does imply that I would have licensed it and endorsed him and whatever he stands for. I was pretty upset by that. In my opinion the damage had already been done by it being out there. People that I knew had seen (the ad), so it had gotten around.’

'I was fairly astonished that this soon after the settlement of Browne vs. McCain, yet another politician with national aspirations is doing this again,’ said Iser. ‘We just a year ago settled Browne vs. McCain, and the defendants there - including the Repbulican National Party - made a pledge...they would respect artists rights and license copyrighted works. To have it happen again in January is fairly shocking. They can't say, 'We didn't know that you have to get a license to use songs in commercials.'...They absolutely did know.’

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