Talking Heads star sues Florida Senate candidate

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The Independent US

If a three-way race for the Senate isn't enough for Florida Governor Charlie Crist to grapple with, he now has another, more lyrical opponent: David Byrne, former frontman of the Talking Heads.

Byrne sued Mr Crist on Monday for allegedly using the 1985 Talking Heads hit "Road To Nowhere" in a campaign commercial and is seeking $1m in damages, according to his attorney.

Mr Crist's campaign used the song to deride his opponent Marco Rubio in an online ad available on his campaign website and YouTube for a few days in January, said Lawrence Iser, who is representing Byrne. "They didn't approach anybody, they didn't ask anybody, they just used it," Mr Iser said.

The use of the song not only constitutes copyright infringement, but it also violates the Lanham Act, said Mr Iser, as it falsely suggests that Byrne endorses Mr Crist's candidacy.

Byrne said in a statement that he has never licensed a song for an ad. "I'm a bit of a throwback that way, as I still believe songs occasionally mean something," Byrne said.

He added that if his audience thought he'd license a song to a political campaign, "they might not respect me as much in the morning".

The Crist campaign could not immediately be reached for comment.

Mr Crist is running for the Senate seat as an independent, after having switched from the Republican Party in April.