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John McCain Fires Back At Jackson Browne With Legal Documents

November 20, 2008 11:00 AM ET

With his election loss behind him, John McCain has found a new opponent in Jackson Browne. After Browne sued the Republican candidate back in August for using "Running on Empty" without permission in a campaign ad, McCain has fired back in court with a pair of 20-page motions. First, McCain seeks to dismiss the charges, citing "fair use" of a song with "an acknowledged cliché" for a title. McCain's lawyers also say that their use of the song likely increased the popularity of the 30-year-old song than damaged its commercial potential. In a second motion that adds insult to Browne's injury, McCain's lawyers are seeking monetary damages, accusing Browne of attempting to "chill" McCain's free speech. Team McCain is seeking attorney fees and similar costs. While the trial may seem like an afterthought to the election, it could determine the future of music use in political campaigns and whether or not Sarah Palin will be allowed to use "Barracuda" in 2012.

Related Stories:
"Stop Using My Song, Republicans!": A Guide to Disgruntled Rockers
Jackson Browne Sues John McCain Over Campaign Commercial
How Political Campaigns Make Their Music Choices

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Song Stories

“Whoomp! (There It Is)”

Tag Team | 1993

Cecil Glenn — a.k.a., "D.C." — was a cook at Magic City, a nude dance club in Atlanta, when he first heard women shout "Whoomp — there it is!" Inspired by the party chant, he and partner Steve "Roll'n" Gibson wrote a song around it. Undaunted by label rejections, they borrowed $2,500 from Glenn's parents and pressed 800 singles, which quickly sold out in the Atlanta area. A record deal came soon after. Glenn said the song was meant for positive partying. "If you're going to say 'Whoomp there it is,' and you're doing something negative, we'd rather it not have come out of your mouth."

More Song Stories entries »
 
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