By Johnny Walker
One of the biggest–yet most enjoyable–clichés in boxing occurs when a fighter emerges from dressing room to strut to the ring to the strains of Survivor’s “Eye of the Tiger,” a song made famous in the boxing-themed film Rocky III. The golden oldie is an underdog’s anthem, forever associated with Sylvester Stallone’s journeyman-made-good fictional alter ego, heavyweight champion Rocky Balboa.
Apparently Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich has been eager to portray himself as a boxing-styled underdog in his primary fight with frontrunner Mitt Romney, and to that end has been playing “Eye of the Tiger” at his recent political rallies.
But now Newt has been TKO’d by a member of the Chicago-based Survivor who has hit him with a lawsuit, seeking damages from the Gingrich campaign for unauthorized use of his song.
“This has nothing to do with politics, this is strictly about copyright law and protecting my copyright, and the legacy that ‘Eye of the Tiger has become,” Survivor founding member Frankie Sullivan tells WGN news in Chicago.
“It’s a huge copyright and I think it deserves to be protected, so somebody has to put their first and best foot forward and protect it.”
The issue is apparently a legal gray area, and most politicians simply comply when artists request that they cease using a specific song for their campaigns.
So far, however, an unrepentant Gingrich continues to strut to the stage to Survivor’s pugilistic battle cry. As Romney has found out, giving in easily is not Gingrich’s style.