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Browne hopes lawsuit helps all musicians

Associated Press

LOS ANGELES — Jackson Browne has settled a lawsuit and received an apology from Sen. John McCain and the Republican Party over use of his song "Running on Empty" during last year’s presidential campaign.

The settlement announced Tuesday includes a pledge by the GOP not to use any musicians’ work without proper permission in future campaigns, a statement that Browne said he hoped would benefit other artists.

Browne sued McCain and the Republican National Committee and the Ohio Republican Party last year over use of "Running on Empty" in a Web ad mocking Democrat Barack Obama’s proposed energy policies.

McCain’s loss in November didn’t end the lawsuit, which had been slated for trial early next year. Formal settlement papers have yet to be filed with the court.

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"This settlement is really a great affirmation of what I believed my rights to be, and all writers’ rights to be," Browne said in an interview with the Associated Press. "One would hope that a presidential candidate would not only know the law but respect it. It was a matter of bringing that issue to bear."

Financial details of the settlement were not announced.

McCain didn’t know about the ad, which was created by the Ohio Republican Party and removed after Browne complained, said the statement, attributed to McCain and the state and national parties.

"We apologize that a portion of the Jackson Browne song ‘Running on Empty’ was used without permission," the statement said.

McCain’s campaign ran afoul of several musicians during his presidential run, including the Foo Fighters, Heart and John Mellencamp. Obama wasn’t immune either — soul legend Sam Moore asked his campaign to stop using "Soul Man."

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