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Jackson Browne Sues John McCain Over Campaign Commercial

August 14, 2008 3:02 PM ET

Jackson Browne has filed a lawsuit against John McCain after the Republican presidential candidate used a portion of Browne's "Running On Empty" in a campaign commercial without permission. The Republican National Party is also listed in the suit. In the commercial, McCain mocks Barack Obama for suggesting that the country conserve gas through proper tire inflation. What bothers Browne almost as much as McCain's lack of permission, the lawsuit alleges, is that using "Running On Empty" suggests that Browne supports McCain's presidential campaign and the Republican platform. "In light of Jackson Browne's lifelong commitment to Democratic ideals and political candidates, the misappropriation of Jackson Browne's endorsement is entirely reprehensible, and I have no doubt that a jury will agree," Browne's lawyer Lawrence Iser said. Browne is seeking to prohibit the McCain campaign from using "Running On Empty" or any other Browne compositions, as well as asking for unspecified damages.

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Song Stories

“Vans”

The Pack | 2006

Berkeley, California rappers the Pack made their footwear choice clear in 2006 with the song "Vans." The track caught the attention of Too $hort, who signed them to his imprint. MTV refused to play the video for the song, though, claiming it was essentially a commercial for the product. Rapper Lil' B disagreed. "I didn’t know nobody [at] Vans," he said. "I was just a rapper who wore Vans." Even without MTV's support, Lil' B recognized the impact of the track. "God blessed me with such a revolutionary song… People around my age know who really started a lot of the dressing people are into now."

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