John McCain Countersues Jackson Browne in Fair Use Trial; Meanwhile, Kool and the Gang Send Barack Obama a Hickory Farms Basket for Repopularizing “Celebration”

Way back in August, when Sarah Palin was still just Alaska’s problem, John McCain used Jackson Browne’s classic 1977 hit “Running on Empty” in an attack ad against Barack Obama’s energy plan. Needless to say, the hippy dippy Browne was decently cheesed at McCain for using the tune without his permission and promptly filed suit against the presumptive Republican presidential nominee. McCain, who admittedly had bigger things to deal with at the time, pulled the ad and carried on with his campaign, effectively ignoring the lawsuit until he could finally deal with the matter from the comfort of the Oval Office.

We all know how the rest of the story goes. Obama and his Hopeskateers stormed the polls and snatched victory from the floppy jaw of McCain. Now finding himself with too much time on his hands, McCain needs something to fill the long hours while he patiently waits for death, so he’s decided to tie up some loose ends from his campaign days. First on the list: Jackson Browne. After months of silence, McCain’s fleet of lawyers countered the folkie with two bullshit 20-page motions against his suit. I’d call McCain a sore loser, but at his age he’s probably always sore, so I guess there’s no use in being redundant: McCain is a loser.

The Billboard article describes the first motion about as succinctly as possible:

The first is a standard motion to dismiss, claiming that McCain's use of the song was fair use. The campaign's fair use reading is based on the application of the standard four-factor test that includes the purpose and character of the use of the song (McCain argues it was non-commercial and transformative); the nature of the work (McCain derides the song as old, old, old, with a title that's an acknowledged cliche); the amount and substantiality of the use of the song (McCain only used the title phrase, and cites a recent judgment against Yoko Ono, who had sought to prevent the unauthorized use of John Lennon's ‘Imagine’ in a film); and the effect of the use of the song (McCain says that rather than damage the song's commercial potential, his use ‘will likely increase the popularity of this thirty year-old song’).

Holy Toledo, what a load of caca! The second motion is even worse. McCain claims that Browne is impeding on the Arizona Senator’s free speech by suing over use of the song. As a result, McCain is demanding attorney fees and court costs for his trouble. Goddammit, John McCain, you just ran for president of the United States! You’re telling me you don’t have any money left over to deal with this crap? Rather than go into another paragraph ranting against John McCain (after two years of campaigning, I have already wasted too many paragraphs on that man), I’ll leave you with this video about the ins and outs of fair use. It should explain well enough why, yet again, John McCain doesn’t have a wobbly leg to stand on.

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