Senator Ted Cruz Sued For Music In Campaign Ads

Ted Cruz is now being sued for music he used in ads while he was running for president. His campaign, although it is now defunct (mostly), has been served notice of the suit as well as cease and desist orders for the ads that are still live on social media video platform YouTube.

This is not the first time that a GOP presidential candidate has used music without specific permission to do so. As a matter of fact, it is quite common for Republican presidential candidates to use music at their rallies and events without permission. There are also headlines the very next day when press coverage revealed the use of the music during campaign events, which also feature comments by the artists that denounce the use of their music at GOP events.

Senator John McCain used music from singer/songwriter John Mellencamp back in 2008 during his presidential campaign against then-Senator Barack Obama. There was also the time late last year when former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee used Survivor’s “Eye of the Tiger” when he staged an event outside of a Kentucky sheriff’s office, following the release of controversial county clerk Kim Davis.

Although there are not many of those incidents that resulted in legal action, when Ted Cruz used music from a Seattle-based licensing company, Audiosocket, for TV ads, that turned into a whole different ball game. In that situation, Cruz’s campaign is liable due to monetary gains from a paid advertisement, which is why he is being sued for using the music in his ads during the campaign, according to Seattle Times.

Cruz is being sued for using the music songs “Lens” and “Fear of Complacency.” The suit itself has been filed in U.S. District Court and it alleges that the Ted Cruz campaign violated its contract with Audiosocket by using the songs in ads, which they did not have a contractual license to do.

There was actually a contract signed by Ted Cruz’s Hollywood ad agency, Madison McQueen, that specifically said they would not use the songs in any type of advertisement for the Cruz campaign, but it seems as though that contract had been violated by the GOP senator.

One of the specific ads that Cruz is being sued for actually aired on Fox Business News network 86 times. The suit specifies that the company is suing Ted Cruz for $25,000 for each instance of the copyright violation, which is starting to add up to around $2 million at this point. But there are other instances they have not factored in for the music suit. Those instances included the amount of time that the ads have been viewed on YouTube, which are quite substantial.

To make matters even worse for Ted Cruz, he still has not pulled one of the ads from YouTube, which only means that it is going to end up costing him even more money if a jury decides he is liable for all views.

As of right now, one ad has been viewed 78,000 times on YouTube. That Ted Cruz ad, which is titled “Victories,” has in fact been pulled from the site. But another ad, titled “Best to Come,” has yet to be pulled and it has racked up over 12,000 views.

It is unclear at this time if Audiosocket will be suing for each page view on the ads with the copyrighted music. But if so, Ted Cruz could be sued for quite a substantial amount of money if he does not act quick and take down the video that still continues to get page views.

Cruz has also stated in the media and social media alike that he is not ruling out a return to the presidential race yet. It is unclear if he is leaving the ad up for a possible reappearance into the primary season for the GOP.

[Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images]