David Byrne, front man for 80s stars Talking Heads, has won a case against former Florida Governor Charlie Crist after agreeing to accept a confidential payout to settle the matter. The ‘Road To Nowhere’ singer had sued Crist over his use of that song in Youtube and website ads for his unsuccessful campaign to become a senator.
As part of the settlement for an undisclosed sum, Crist has had to issue a video apology which has been uploaded to Youtube and in the scripted mea culpa, Crist says “Regrettably, the campaign did not ask permission to obtain a license from Mr. Byrne. In fact, Mr. Byrne has never permitted his songs to be used for advertising of any kind — a position I respect, deeply.”
Byrne himself has said that he hopes the settlement leads to a reduction in copyright infringement as songs are increasingly being used in political advertising without consulting the artist or seeking permission. “Other artists may actually have the anger, but not want to take the time and risk the legal bills,”
Byrne in a statement. “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.”