FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
SINGER/SONGWRITER DAVID BYRNE AND INDEX MUSIC INC. RESOLVE LAWSUIT AGAINST CHARLIE CRIST, CHARLIE CRIST FOR UNITED STATES SENATE, THE STEVENS AND SCHRIEFER GROUP LTD., AND RED OCTOBER PRODUCTIONS, INC.
TAMPA, FL. – April 11, 2011 – Singer/songwriter David Byrne and Index Music Inc. have resolved their lawsuit against former Florida Governor Charlie Crist, Charlie Crist for United States Senate, The Stevens and Schriefer Group, Ltd., and Red October Productions, Inc. The lawsuit arose from a web campaign video made by Stevens and Schriefer Group Ltd. And Red October Productions, Inc., which Charlie Crist used in his primary campaign for United States Senate, that incorporated portions of the song Road to Nowhere, a song written by Mr. Byrne and recorded by Mr. Byrne and his band Talking Heads. The lawsuit, filed on May 24, 2010 in the United States District Court in Tampa, alleged that this use of Road to Nowhere required licenses which were not obtained. The financial terms of the settlement are confidential.
Former Florida Governor Charlie Christ, Charlie Crist for United States Senate, The Stevens and Schriefer Group Ltd., and Red October Productions, Inc. apologize that a portion of David Byrne’s song and the recording of Road to Nowhere was used without permission. Former Florida Governor Charlie Crist, Charlie Crist for United States Senate, The Stevens and Schriefer Group Ltd., and Red October Productions, Inc. do not support or condone any actions taken by anyone involved in the 2010 election campaign for United States Senate that were inconsistent with artists’ rights of the various legal protections afforded to intellectual property.
Governor Crist has filmed a video apology:
For further information, please contact:
Lawrence Y. Iser
Kinsella Weitzman Iser Kump & Aldisert LLP 808
Wilshire Boulevard, 3rd Floor
Santa Monica, CA 90401
Phone: (310) 566-9801
Morgan & Morgan
20 North Orange Avenue, 16th Floor
Orlando, FL 32801
Phone: (407) 420-1414
The Stevens and Schriefer Group Ltd. And Red October Productions, Inc.:
Michael P. Matthews
Foley & Lardner LLP
100 North Tampa Street, Suite 2700
Tampa, FL 33601-3391
Phone: (813) 225-4131
Here are statements in addition to the official press release:
Following the case settlement, Byrne issued this statement: “I was shocked to discover, while working out our settlement, that the use of songs for political ads is pretty rampant. It turns out I am one of the few artists who has the bucks and cojones to challenge such usage- I'm feeling very manly after my trip to Tampa! Other artists may actually have the anger but not want to take the time and risk the legal bills. I am lucky that I can do that. Anyway, my hope is that by standing up to this practice maybe it can be made to be a less common option, or better yet an option that is never taken in the future.”
Lawrence Iser, of Kinsella Weitzman Iser Kump & Aldisert LLP, represented Byrne in the case. “This settlement again confirms that the U.S. Copyright and Trademark laws apply to politicians and their advertising agencies, just like everyone else,” said Iser. “If a politician wants to use a popular song to generate interest and excitement or popular appeal, he or she must obtain a license to use the song. There is no difference between selling cars or toothpaste and selling a political candidate, and the law doesn't provide a free pass to persons running for office. We are hopeful that given the recent examples of the cases filed by Jackson Browne, Don Henley, and now David Byrne, politicians will obtain all necessary licenses before doing this in the next election cycle.”