TMZ

Our TV Shows

Got a Tip?

Call TMZ at (888) 847-9869 or Click Here

Don Henley -- All He Wants to Do Is Sue!

4/18/2009 9:40 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

Don Henley is suing a Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate in California, claiming he has brazenly ripped off two really popular Henley songs to push his campaign to unseat California Senator Barbara Boxer.

In a new Federal lawsuit, Henley claims California State Assemblyman Charles DeVore created his own set of lyrics over the song, "The Boys of Summer," blasting President Barack Obama and promoting DeVore's candidacy. DeVore posted the video on YouTube, Facebook and other sites.

Henley demanded that YouTube take the video down and You Tube removed it, but YouTube reposted it after DeVore insisted it go back up. YouTube contacted Henley and said they would take it down only if Henley filed a lawsuit. Hence, the lawsuit.

Henley also claims DeVore ripped off his song, "All She Wants to Do Is Dance" by creating lyrics that attacked Senator Barbara Boxer.

Henley's producer, Mike Campbell, is also a plaintiff. They are suing DeVore and Justin Hart, who created internet strategies for DeVore. They want damages and an order prohibiting DeVore's videos be taken down permanently.

UPDATE
: Don's people just gave us this statement: "Don Henley and Mike Campbell brought this action to protect their song, 'The Boys of Summer,' which was taken and used without their permission. Because the infringers have vowed to continue exploiting this and other copyrighted works, as it suits them, to further their own ambitions and agenda, it was necessary to file a lawsuit to stop them."

82 COMMENTS

No Avatar
1.

Jez    

There is a reason Republicans rip off Democratic artists - Republicans are followers, not original thinkers. 99% of creative people (look at music, movies, art, etc.) are Liberals. Liberals think freely, and are therefore creative. Republicans follow their uncreative leaders and criticize free thinking. Of course Republicans have no innovative, new, fresh ideas.

1978 days ago
2.

friend    

It's people like Henley that clog-up our legal systems. THis is as ridiculous as his music. Go away, the damages you are seeking are likely worth under $1. L O S E R

1978 days ago
3.

Michael Madsen    

Someone shoulsdsue Henley for writing that crap. Go Susan BOYLE.... way cuter and more talented than this jerk-off.

1978 days ago
4.

fans of President Obama    

Don Henley needs to protect his Intellectual Property. Devore's theft is akin to that of any other criminal who takes without permission. May the laws of the land show no mercy to DeVore.

HAIL HENLEY.

1978 days ago
5.

Buck Farack    

Seems like many of my favorite artists from "back in the day" (read: 1980's & early 1990's) have twisted off to the left. I try to ignore their political views and enjoy the music but when they start spewing politics, I tend to lose interest.

1978 days ago
6.

fans of President Obama    

Obviously, most of you adolescent-minded bloggers are NOT musicians and are NOT empathetic to the need to protect your material. People steal from you all the time. What will YOU do when someone attempts to take from you? You will defend you and yours, right? Well, Mr. Henley is no exception. It's all about respect.

1978 days ago
7.

Michael Madsen    

Come on , you Fat Bastard... get off the horse. Any idiot understands intellectual property theft... this is hardly theft... it's simply a satirical lift... so it's for political puposes... cry to yo mama then... a satirical lift isn't stealing so don't wet yerslf... Henley has no chance... he's drawing more attention to this crap than anyone would have paid it otherwise...
So, you Fat Bastard... clean up the froth and go to bed... no more liquor now...
Oops... I just squirted.

1978 days ago
8.

why?    

To # 1-You suck idiot, go the f@#$ away retard! I hope Don Henly wins his law suite. Just like a republican to fail to think of anything original. Stop stealing from Don Henley you Republican hillbilly idiot.

1978 days ago
9.

Linda Mott    

No matter who you are or what party you are in, go through the proper channels. I am surprised that a political party didn't research better and get a written ok to use the song. Not a very smart move, the publicity will hurt them, and of course TMZ is not a Republican sympathiser.

1978 days ago
10.

Liberals are morons    

Sorry to break it to all you liberal internet tough guys, but you can't copyright chord changes. This lawsuit is about as fruitless as the prospect of the USA surviving the obama years.

Jez Said "There is a reason Republicans rip off Democratic artists - Republicans are followers, not original thinkers. 99% of creative people (look at music, movies, art, etc.) are Liberals."

Have you ever heard of jazz? Go check out the tunes "I've got Rhythm and "The Flinstones Theme." I wonder who should be suing who there?

1978 days ago
11.

copyright    

The Library of Congress and the ability to copyright creative work in this country and across the world exists for a reason.

As a songwriter, I believe that permission needs to be sought and granted before someone does a parody on your work. Even Weird Al gets permission. I love parody and I love Weird Al's stuff, but he goes through the proper channels. Why should this politican not have to follow the law like everyone else?

The bottom line is, contact the creator for permission. Chances are you'll get it. But if you don't, they have every legal right to sue.

Whether or not you think the artist sucks is not relevant. If you want to use their work, I guess they don't suck that much to you... And it is not a matter of free speech, either. Intellectual and creative property theft is just that -- theft.

Yeah, perhaps the really big artists make entirely too much money. But so do most discount stores. You're still going to get arrested if you shoplift a CD at Walmart. It's just the law.

Not everyone can write and perform music. Hence, that is why people pay musicians to show up to perform for their events, television shows and parties and to create the stuff for their movies, commercials, political ads..... etc. etc. etc.

There has to be a line drawn somewhere. No one wants to work for free. And it IS work. It takes a lifetime to achieve what Henley has achieved, and the guts to stick with it when the going gets rough, and the guts to get up on stage day after day... that is work and pressure... and believe me, most people aren't musicians because it doesn't pay off in the early days if it ever does at all. He took the risk and put himself out there and that is why he gets paid.

All in all, artists are pretty lax about people on YouTube using our stuff. But, if you're going to steal it, but stand for someone or something that we completely disagree with, then you're creating an image of us that makes us look like someone we are not, which is not okay. If someone did that with your work, you wouldn't stand for it. So why should he?

Nuff said.
-- a prof. musician/producer

1978 days ago
12.

Nejxn    

A guy I know worked as a roadie for the Eagles a few years back. He said Don Henley was extremely rude, arrogant and the biggest a$$hole he has ever worked for. Joe Walsh, on the other hand was very cool and would come hang out and joke around with the crew.

1978 days ago
13.

copyright    

It just doesn't matter whether Henleys an a$$hole or not. I know some utterly supreme a$$holes who are the most incredible, phenomenal songwriters. -- Whether you like him as a person or and whether you like his stuff is purely subjective. Copy"rights" are rights to your own material, whether your an arsehole or not. You file the form/s to protect your arse -- even if you are an arse.

I surely hope he wins, because it sets precedent for all of us. If things keep up like they are, what is going to motivate anyone to pursue being a musician/composer/creator. There's not much in it for all the work and often misery involved. A lot easier to get a degree and become an accountant or something predictable.

People have this idea it's like American Idol. American Idol affects .000000000000000001% of the artists in the world. Very, very few artists are "discovered." They starve for years, kiss ass like anyone else, work day and night jobs, and when they do get a break -- they sign their lives away on contracts, that force them to tour to the extent that often destroys their personal lives. Even for those who find great success, the drill is the same.

The least musicians can ask is the rights to their own creations.

1977 days ago
14.

really?    

...and I bet if the candidate had successfully kept her seat, this would be a moot point. Right?

1977 days ago
15.

Jake    

I have had a good laugh over this. I needed one after the fiasco that is the first 60 days of Obama. More lies in 60 days than Bush told in 6 years. But, back to the Henely fiasco. I just reread these posts and had another good laugh. All this crap about copyright protections and not one lousy word about the theft of peoples images by TMZ and other paparazzi driven drivel pushers. Many of these stolen photos are images not very flattering due to the stress of daily life and then the theft is compounded by Photoshop to enhance slight blemishes. I better save these posts for when I need a good laugh again.

1977 days ago
| 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | Most Recent | Next 15 Comments

Around The Web