Former Kentucky clerk Kim Davis was released from jail back in November after serving time for refusing to marry same-sex couples following 2015’s Supreme Court ruling that legalized same-sex marriage.
Davis’ welcome home party consisted of the likes of Mike Huckabee, who took it upon himself to play Survivor’s infamous hit, “Eye Of The Tiger,” at a rally celebrating Davis’ release from jail.
Rude Music, which is owned by Frankie Sullivan the co-writer of the hit, sued Huckabee for unauthorized use of the song and copyright infringement.
The campaign argued that the event was a “religious assembly” and thus that they weren’t required to pay for copyright infringement since they weren’t making a profit. But Huckabee seemingly forgot to mention that his campaign claimed the event as part of his campaign expenses.
Huckabee spokeswoman Alice Stewart went on to state that they wouldn’t “be bullied” into paying the $25,000:
‘Mr. Sullivcan is demanding an amount of money that exceeds the average yearly salary of a hard-working American simply because a snippet of his song was played briefly at a rally.’
Huckabee agreed to pay a confidential settlement, but last week his campaign’s finance disclosure forms were released, showing two payments to Rude Music Inc. The Huckabee campaign listed the fee as a “legal settlement” for “copyright infringement.”
The installment of $12,500 was paid in May and listed as an “itemized disbursement.” The other half is noted as “debts and obligations,” both of which appear on a June 20 filing.
Due to a lack of campaign funds, Huckabee decided to settle the matter out of court. His campaign petitioned the FEC to allow him to use a special legal defense fund to handle the cost of litigating the case as well as the money he owed.
Last week the FEC issued a statement encouraging Huckabee to pay the money himself.
The former Governor of Arkansas dropped out of the 2016 presidential race on February 1, but still seems to be struggling to pay off his campaign debts.
Huckabee’s lawyers and campaign staff have not responded to media queries for comment.
Annette McGarry, the musicians’ attorney, claims she is bound to silence in regards to the case, but said this isn’t the first time a politician has used the song during a rally.
Back in 2012, Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign stopped using the song after they were issued a warning, McGarry told CNN.
McGarry, an intellectual property assistant in Chicago, went on to tell CNN:
‘The ‘Eye of the Tiger’ copyright is a very valuable asset, and we work very hard to protect it.’
People have already taken to Twitter to mock the former presidential candidate, too:
Mike Huckabee forced to pay Survivor $25,000 for using 'Eye Of The Tiger' at Kim Davis rally last year. pic.twitter.com/QpCvATTrh8
— Clint Falin (@ClintFalin) June 27, 2016
Feature Image via Ty Wright/Getty Images.