- The Washington Times - Tuesday, December 8, 2020

Neil Young nixed a lawsuit Monday that the “Rockin’ in the Free World” singer had brought against President Trump’s campaign for playing that song and another at political rallies without permission.

A lawyer for the Canadian-American musician filed a notice of voluntary dismissal in Manhattan federal court, effectively killing a copyright infringement lawsuit he filed against the Trump campaign.

It was not clear if and how the parties settled their dispute. A publicist for Mr. Young declined to comment, and the Trump campaign did not immediately respond to a message seeking its reaction. 

Mr. Young, an outspoken critic of the president, sued after “Rockin’ in the Free World” and another one of his songs, “Devil’s Sidewalk,” were used by the Trump campaign without authorization.

Both songs were played “numerous times at rallies and political events for the entertainment and amusement of those attending,” the lawsuit said, including specifically a rally Mr. Trump’s campaign held in Tulsa on June 20.

“Plaintiff in good conscience cannot allow his music to be used as a ‘theme song’ for a divisive, un-American campaign of ignorance and hate,” Mr. Young’s attorneys wrote in the initial lawsuit.

Several other artists, including Phil Collins and Creedence Clearwater Revival co-founder John Fogerty, subsequently told the Trump campaign to stop playing their songs at rallies as well.

Mr. Young, a 75-year-old Toronto native, became a U.S. citizen in January.

• Andrew Blake can be reached at ablake@washingtontimes.com.

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