Republican presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich at the Hispanic Leadership Network conference in Miami on Jan. 27, 2012. Former Survivor lead guitarist Frankie Sullivan has has filed a lawsuit to stop the Gingrich campaign from using the band's 1982 Grammy-winning song "Eye of the Tiger." UPI/Michael Bush | License Photo
PALATINE, Ill., Jan. 31 (UPI) -- Republican U.S. presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich's use of "Eye of the Tiger" at campaign events and in videos landed him in the eye of a lawsuit.
A Palatine, Ill., music publishing company owned by former Survivor lead guitarist Frankie Sullivan filed the suit Monday in a federal court in Chicago, seeking damages and an injunction against the Gingrich campaign for using the band's 1982 Grammy-winning song, the Chicago Tribune reported.
"This has nothing to do with politics. This is a copyright issue," Sullivan's lawyer, Annette McGarry, said. "We've tried to deal with them for months, and they've been trying to ignore it."
Despite complaints from Sullivan, Gingrich was still using it at events in South Carolina and the song is in several Internet videos posted by the campaign, the Tribune said.
"My legacy, my life, has been 'Eye of the Tiger,'" Sullivan told the Chicago Sun-Times. "Those copyright laws are there to protect people like me who are lucky enough to create a copyright. 'Eye of the Tiger' is an iconic copyright. It's become a lifelong legacy -- something you want to pass down to your kids."
While Sullivan didn't want to delve into whether he backs Gingrich, song co-writer Jim Peterik admits he is becoming a fan.
Peterik, who is not part of the lawsuit, said, "I hate suits. I hate being in court. I avoid that meticulously."
Peterik said he wouldn't say who could or couldn't use "Eye of the Tiger" for political events.
"If someone is out there trying to make a difference, let him do it," Peterik told the Sun-Times. "Unless it was Adolf Hitler."