US presidential candidate is a pirate

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The presumed Republican US presidential candidate John McCain favours draconian copyright enforcement, except when his own election campaign uses other people's music.

McCain released his campaign platform statements recently, which support the music and film industries' desire to stamp out file-sharing by individuals. His election platform reads:

"John McCain Will Protect The Creative Industries From Piracy. The entertainment industry is both a vital sector of the domestic economy and among the largest US exporters."

"While the Internet has provided tremendous opportunity for the creators of copyrighted works, including music and movies, to distribute their works around the world at low cost, it has also given rise to a global epidemic of piracy. John McCain supports efforts to crack down on piracy, both on the Internet and off."

But McCain has featured copyrighted musical clips in his own televised political campaign advertisements without first obtaining the required permissions from the copyright holders.

In the past, his campaign has been caught using various entertainment content owned by ABBA, Chuck Berry, John Hall, John Mellencamp, filmmaker Mike Myers of Wayne's World and Frankie Valli without permission, and has been either shamed or threatened into discontinuing use of the offending material.

Now singer-songwriter Jackson Browne has sued John McCain and the Republican Party because the Ohio Republican Party is using Browne's song "Running on Empty" in a TV attack ad against McCain's front-running Democratic opponent, Senator Barack Obama.

Browne, a far left-wing Democrat himself, is reportedly seeking unspecified damages and a permanent injunction barring McCain's campaign from further use of "Running on Empty."

Browne's lawyer Lawrence Iser said "Not only have Senator McCain and his agents plainly infringed Mr Browne's copyright in 'Running on Empty' but the federal courts have long held that the unauthorized use of a famous singer's voice in a commercial constitutes a false endorsement and a violation of the singer's right of publicity."
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