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Huckabee penalized for using 'Eye of the Tiger' at Davis rally

Mike Huckabee and Kim Davis
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Mike Huckabee had to personally pay $25,000 for illegally using the “Eye of the Tiger” song during a political rally reports The Advocate

Last year when the Kentucky clerk Kim Davis emerged from her five day stint behind bars, conservative and then presidential candidate Mike Huckabee threw her a rally outside the jailhouse, playing Survivor’s iconic song “Eye of the Tiger,” to the crowd in an attempt to put a soundtrack to her perceived martyrdom.

But the lead singer of the band who also co-wrote the song, Frankie Sullivan, wasn’t happy that his tune was being played as fanfare to the controversial clerk and her refusal to abide by the Supreme Court ruling on marriage equality.

Sullivan went on Twitter to express his anger, “NO! We did not grant Kim Davis any rights to use ‘My Tune -The Eye of the Tiger.’ I would not grant her the rights to use Charmin!”

Sullivan’s label The Rude Music quickly took action and sued Huckabee for copyright infringement.

Huckabee’s team went on the defensive, saying they would not be intimidated by the musician and his attempts to derail their work.

The Huckabee camp told CNN the artist was demanding an amount of money that far exceeded the portion of the song that was actually played. They continued, “The campaign offered Mr. Sullivan fair compensation, but that offer was rejected. We refuse to be bullied.”

But it was Sullivan who prevailed in court.

Huckabee’s team politically contradicted themselves over the context in which the song was being played; first they said it was used at a non-commercial and religious rally and fell under fair use, but then claimed it as a presidential campaign expense.

In a 2015 interview with Rolling Stone, Sullivan said using his song for that particular event was insulting.

“I do not ... believe in denying gay rights and the freedom for all individuals to choose the lifestyle they want to live,” He said. “Our Constitution, and the words of our Founding Fathers, stand tall for freedom, which is what America is all about. I find it ridiculous in this day and age that this fight against gay marriage has gone on, even after the Supreme Court's ruling.”