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Survivor Sues Newt Gingrich For Using ‘Eye of the Tiger’ Without Permission

Newt Gingrich / Survivor
Joe Raedle, Getty Images / Tim Hardgrove, SurvivorMusic.com

After recently reuniting with lead singer Jimi Jamison, a member of Survivor has now gone to court to protect one of the group’s best known songs, ‘Eye of the Tiger,’ from being used by Presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich.

Founding guitarist Frankie Sullivan filed suit on Monday to stop Gingrich from using ‘Tiger’ for his campaign without permission. According to the legal filing, the suit seeks to end the copyright infringement “arising from the defendants’ unauthorized public performances and distribution of Rude Music’s copyrighted musical composition.”

Rude Music is the publishing imprint for Sullivan’s music, and the document goes on to say that the usage of ‘Eye Of The Tiger’ is “unlicensed and unauthorized,” pointing out that as a published author, Gingrich is “sophisticated and knowledgeable concerning the copyright laws.”

Sullivan told the Chicago Sun-Times that the suit is not about politics – he’s just not a fan of his work being used without his permission and without the appropriate compensation that is rightfully due.

“My legacy, my life, has been ‘Eye Of The Tiger,’ ” Sullivan told the Sun-Times on Monday. “Those copyright laws are there to protect people like me who are lucky enough to create a copyright. ‘Eye of the Tiger’ is an iconic copyright. It’s become a lifelong legacy — something you want to pass down to your kids.”

Former Survivor member Jim Peterik, Sullivan’s one-time songwriting partner, co-wrote the track, but is not part of the current litigation.

”I hate suits,” Peterik said in a separate interview with the Sun-Times. “I hate being in court. I avoid that meticulously. When I (heard about the lawsuit on the radio Monday) I said ‘I’m not surprised,’ but I’m surprised.” (So basically, he just cross-examined and perjured himself, right?)

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