Donald Trump lost his bid for reelection back in November, a unexpected development that has surely made him very, very, very sad, but here’s some good news that might bring a little sunshine back into his sad, sad, sad life: According to The Hollywood Reporter, Neil Young has decided not to pursue his lawsuit against Trump, who he said had violated his copyright by playing “Rockin’ In The Free World” and “Devil’s Sidewalk” at a campaign rally.
This all started in August, when Young—somewhat encouragingly—actually filed a lawsuit against Trump’s campaign for his unauthorized use of the songs. The reason it was somewhat encouraging was that musicians have complained about their music being used without permission for years, but finally, Neil Young was actually putting his proverbial money where his proverbial mouth was. Rules around using songs at political events have started to change recently, with ASCAP and BMI giving artists the ability to object to a song being used even if an event’s organizers obtained the proper public performance licenses, and Young’s case could’ve been a chance to actually run that tentative rule change through the courts. As we noted at the time, though, cases like that involving political events usually get settled quickly, because nobody really cares how they turn out once the election ends, and… that’s pretty much what happened here.
THR doesn’t know if there was a settlement, but it was dismissed with prejudice—meaning Young can’t renew these claims later—and that is a “strong sign” that the lawyers involved worked something out. Either way, Neil Young is no longer taking Donald Trump to court, which is probably for the best. The poor guy’s been through a lot lately (his best friend just got that virus they keep telling everyone doesn’t exist).