Guyanese international music superstar, Eddy Grant has issued a cease and desist order to US President Donald Trump and his campaign over the unauthorized use of his hit, Electric Avenue in a campaign advertisement.
The chart-topping song was released in 1983 and has remained popular since then. On Wednesday, the Trump campaign released a new advertisement attacking his democratic rival using the song.
In a letter to the Trump Campaign, Eddy Grant’s Attorney, Wallace Collins who is a leading copyright lawyer told the campaign that they must cease and desist using the song since they have made unauthorized use of the copyrighted work.
The song was written and produced by Grant and he holds all the rights to the song.
The letter states, “As a result of your wrongful unauthorized Infringing Use in connection with your controversial political campaign, substantial damage and irreparable harm has occurred and will continue to occur to my client and his reputation as an artist when affiliated in any way with your campaign.”
Attorney Collins also said that his client has always had a reputation for standing for truth and justice for all. (This) will be seriously undermined by any affiliation with the name Trump in this political context. Such damage will extend to the value of my client’s musical catalogue, Mr. Collins wrote to the Trump campaign.
Mr. Collins added that the Trump campaign’s willful unauthorized use, makes the Trump campaign liable for statutory damages as set forth in the law, adding that the fact that such infringement has been knowing and intentional, subjects the Trump campaign to additional penalties under the copyright laws of the United States.
“My client will also seek injunctive relief and additional monetary damages and legal fees in connection with such an infringement.”
A number of artistes have written to the Trump campaign over unauthorized use of their music for his campaign.
The Guyanese international artiste said the use of his song by the Trump campaign is wicked.
“In my particular case, they have sought to encapsulate my intellectual property into derogatory political rhetoric, further encapsulated in a video production that can only be construed, at best, as being wicked, thereby causing me considerable emotional distress”.
“I can understand the flagrant abuse of my rights being attributed to the worst Third World nation in the world, wherever that can be found; one that does not preach democracy on every available occasion. “I fail to understand however, that such an organisation, dedicated to the promotion of the President of the United States, could so seriously abuse my rights, as an artist, composer, arranger, producer and ultimately, the owner of these abused rights”, Grant said.