Don Henley Sues Over YouTube Vids, Pink Floyd Sue Over Royalties

Hoping to gain momentum in his 2010 US Senate campaign against incumbent Barbara Boxer, California assembly member Chuck DeVore and his internet strategist Justin Hart have created two YouTube videos which use Don Henley songs. Unfortunately, DeVore’s campaign failed to contact either the Democratic-leaning Henley or his co-writer, Mike Campbell of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, raising the possibility of a costly lawsuit.

Videos by American Songwriter

Originally, DeVore posted two videos to his YouTube channel, which used the Henley songs “Boys of Summer” and “All She Wants to Do is Dance.” In the videos, DeVore pairs new, political parody lyrics with instrumental tracks of the songs in question, while simultaneously displaying images of Barack Obama. Each video then ends with DeVore’s campaign slogan. At Henley’s request, YouTube removed the videos, only to repost them after DeVore challenged the removal, citing the right to free speech as guaranteed by the First Amendment. YouTube, however, did inform Henley that the site would remove the offending videos again if he filed a lawsuit requesting such an action.

On Friday, Henley and Campbell did just that, filing a suit in federal court in Los Angeles in an attempt to remove the videos for good. The suit seeks $150,000 in damages, in addition to complete removal of the video from the Internet. Henley’s representative noted, “The infringers have vowed to continue exploiting this and other copyrighted works, as it suits them, to further their own ambitions and agenda. It was necessary to file a lawsuit to stop them.” In response, DeVore filed a counter suit, again citing his right to free speech and vowing to fight “Mr. Henley’s liberal goon tactics.”

In other legal news, Pink Floyd is suing label EMI and Terra Firma citing a miscalculation of royalty payments. Details are scarce, but commentators are speculating that the suit is most likely the result of routine negotiations of royalty payments that occur every three years. Considering that, aside from the Beatles, Pink Floyd represents the label’s second largest selling catalog, this current disagreement could be potentially costly for the struggling label that, over the past two years, has lost many of its big name artists.


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  1. 93. I have long been a fans of Eagles and Don Henley seen ’em live and many other artist from all political landscapes and some unaffiliated.
    I’m also a songwriter and met Col. Buster Doss of Stardust Records International of Nashville who started the careers of Tracy Lawrence and many, many, others. Buster had a NUMBER ONE song on Talent Records in 1948, and produced Wolverton Mountain released by Merle Kilgore who later became Hank Williams, Jr’s manager.

    Buster had someone in the UK steal his song, but it was not the lyrics. It was the musical composition.

    Buster thought with all his success; why worry about one song when you could end up closing doors. But LADIES AND GENTS WE ARE TALKING 1948.
    THIS IS 2009!

    THERE IS A THING CALLED FREE SPEECH, but because you assert this does not give you the right to take SR & PA works from other Artist without permission! DeVore could have requested license use.
    Most fans out here have no idea of the difficulty when a new band or artist gets signed, that its really a loan and not much of a record deal. All the hype and that only few of the mega artist support the rest who don’t make it.
    The majority of Artist today have to tour more often and longer because of song crooks downloading! THIMK!
    Artist works are works and they too have to put food on the table like the rest of us. If Henley was nameless; I’d still side with that person for I too also have protected copyrighted works (ASCAP).

  2. Oh God that is a bunch of Horse Shit If I have ever Heard it……
    You Said it best its 2009
    I dont agree with somebody taking music right off your plates and all but once it hits the net…. well its 2009…. go do the math and quit crying…I bought every Metallica album and will never buy them again…. I download em fo FREE…..I have spent thousands of dollars on music that I have nothing to show for other than a memory……. I cant help it you guys cant manage your money

    Detroit Michigan

  3. I can’t believe they take and take and can’t even bother to put out anything new that’s worth while… They should feel more gratitude for the sheep toiling in the mud, if it weren’t for them, they’d not have all that they know take for granted..

    Give your $ to the next generation who are actually working to take music to the next level..

  4. Ex Pink Floyd Fan, how can you say PF are being greedy without knowing/providing details of the terms of the lawsuit?

    If it’s money that’s rightfully theirs then suing is a matter of principle and honour – why would you let someone steal from you and let them get away with it regardless of your wealth?

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