Byrne: 'I Had No Choice But To File Suit Over Song'

Former TALKING HEADS star DAVID BYRNE insists he'll continue with his copyright battle against Florida Governor CHARLIE CRIST - because the politician has wrecked his reputation by using his song ROAD TO NOWHERE without permission.
Byrne has filed a $1 million (£666,600) lawsuit against Crist for using the song in a campaign ad, but he insists he's not simply fighting for cash - he wants the Governor to realise just how he's damaged the rock star's good name.
The singer/songwriter has never licensed his songs for commercials and believes that the spot suggests he endorsed Crist's candidacy.
In an exclusive interview with Rolling Stone magazine, Byrne says, "I've rightly or wrongly assumed that not licensing my songs or Talking Heads songs for use in advertisements is meaningful to both my own sense of integrity and my audience's sense of who I am and what I stand for. The personal connection to a song is somewhat severed when it is used in an advertisement, at least that's my belief.
"So when this song was used without permission, I was both deprived of income - income I have thus far denied myself - and what my songs represent was damaged. Anyone viewing the ad and hearing me singing would assume that I endorse Crist. There is no way I can now contact all those people and their friends and families and explain that that is not the case."
Byrne reveals he tried to settle the matter with Crist before filing suit, and admits he has no idea how the matter will end.
He adds, "We tried hard to resolve this before filing the lawsuit. Our legal system has the problem that money often dictates whether someone files a lawsuit or not. It's often assumed, rightly, by the powerful, that the little guy won't spend the money to take it to court. I was left with no choice but to file this lawsuit. I'm sure we will continue to explore settlement options.
"To me, my reputation is something I've struggled to establish over a lifetime and Crist has associated me and my reputation with his campaign without my permission. It's more than simply using my music without permission and without paying, though it's that too."


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Tags: Talking Heads - David Byrne


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