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Rand Paul Fundraising Video Makes Copyright Infringement News

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Frankfort, KYConservative Senatorial candidate Rand Paul is making copyright infringement news after the Canadian rock band Rush sent a cease and desist letter to the politician's office asking him to stop using their song "Tom Sawyer" in his fundraising videos.

Paul, a self-admitted fan of the band, has been known to quote Rush song lyrics on the campaign trail and play other songs from the band, notably "Spirit of Radio," at his promotional rallies. As such, Paul's campaign manager, Jesse Bunton, recently told the Louisville Courier Journal that the problem was "a non-issue."

Robert Farmer, an attorney for Rush, saw things differently. "The public performance of Rush's music is not licensed for political purposes," he told the news provider. "Any public venue which allows such use is in breach of its public performance license and also liable for copyright infringement."

Lawyers for the band stress that the action is not tied to the candidate's politics, and that the letter would have been sent to any politician using the band's music without license.

This is far from the first time that a politician has faced copyright issues over music played at their rallies, as noted Republicans John McCain and Ronald Reagan have faced similar claims for rock artists The Foo Fighters and Bruce Springsteen, respectively.


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