Defiant Kentucky Clerk Kim Davis Could Face More Legal Trouble. This Time for Copyright.

Mike Huckabee raises Kim Davis's arm in triumph before a jubilant crowd in Kentucky upon her release on Tuesday.Timothy D. Easley/AP

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Yesterday, Kim Davis—the now-infamous Rowan County clerk who was held in contempt for refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples in Kentucky—was released from a five-night stint in jail. Escorted by Mike Huckabee, the GOP presidential hopeful who helped throw the rally for her release, an emotional Davis threw her arms in the air, closed her eyes, and basked in the sounds of “Eye of the Tiger,” Survivor’s 1982 hit about being awesome.

Unfortunately for Davis, the writers of that song don’t think Davis is so awesome—and they never agreed to let her or Huckabee broadcast their song at the rally. Survivor’s Jim Peterik tweeted his disapproval, saying Davis would be receiving a “cease and desist” letter from his publisher:

CNN reports that Peterik was shocked to hear that his song was played at the rally:

“I was gobsmacked,” he said. “We were not asked about this at all. The first time we saw it was on national TV.” Peterik’s co-writer, Frankie Sullivan, was also upset about the use of “Eye of the Tiger” and posted a message on Facebook to vent. “I would not grant her the rights to use Charmin!” he wrote.

This reaction is not completely uncommon when it comes to musicians and political events. When Donald Trump played Neil Young’s “Rockin’ in the Free World” at an event at Trump Tower in June to announce his candidacy, Young’s longtime manager Elliot Roberts told Mother Jones that the use of the song was unauthorized. “Mr. Young is a longtime supporter of Bernie Sanders,” he said.

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You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

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