Former Republican Presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee is on the hook for $25,000 after his illegal use of Survivor‘s “Eye of The Tiger.”
Huckabee played the band’s #1 hit from 1982 during a rally for Kim Davis, the Kentucky county clerk who refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples following the Supreme Court’s June 2015 ruling in favor of marriage equality. Davis spent five days in prison from September 4-8, making national headlines.
The former Arkansas governor held a rally for Davis upon her release to show support and fight against the “criminalization of Christianity.” That fight included his illegal use of “Eye of The Tiger,” causing Survivor to levy a $25,000 fine for copyright infringement.
Huckabee tried to work around payment by listing the rally as a “religious assembly,” making his employment of “Eye of The Tiger” noncommercial and fall under fair use, freeing him from paying for rights to the song. According to CNN Money, records revealed the Davis rally was filed as a campaign expense, contradicting Huckabee’s previous claim.
June 20 filings show two payments of $12,500 – filed as “itemized disbursement” and “debts and obligations” – have been paid to Rude Music, the company owned by the Survivor guitarist and “Eye of The Tiger” co-writer Frankie Sullivan. Huckabee has petitioned the Federal Election Commission for a separate legal defense to fund and pay off the settlement, but the FEC “just issued a draft opinion last week saying Huckabee should pay the costs himself.”