Artist News Business News Labels & Publishers Legal

Eddy Grant to subpoena Donald Trump’s former Deputy Chief Of Staff in Electric Avenue campaign video dispute

By | Published on Tuesday 23 August 2022

Eddy Grant

In the wider scheme of things, ongoing litigation in relation to his unapproved use of Eddy Grant’s ‘Electric Avenue’ in a 2020 campaign video probably isn’t a major cause of stress for former US President Donald Trump. But that lawsuit proceeds, and now the Grant side has got an extension to the case’s discovery phase in order to subpoena Trump’s former Deputy Chief Of Staff Dan Scavino.

Grant sued Trump in September 2020 over the use of his 1983 track in an election video which, according to a description in the musician’s lawsuit, featured “a visual depiction of a high-speed red train bearing the words ‘Trump Pence KAG 2020′ in stark contrast to a slow-moving handcar bearing the words ‘Biden President: Your Hair Smells Terrific’”.

No one had sought permission to use ‘Electric Avenue’ in that video, hence the copyright infringement lawsuit. Team Trump previously tried to have the case dismissed on fair use grounds, but without success. And so more recently lawyers for both sides in the dispute have been going through the discovery process.

The lawsuit specifically targets Trump himself and also the entity that ran his unsuccessful 2020 election campaign, Donald J Trump For President Inc. As part of the discovery process, Grant’s legal team seemingly wanted to force both Trump and a representative of Donald J Trump For President Inc to sit for a deposition, answering questions under oath.

The former deposition was seemingly achieved, but for the latter Grant’s lawyers have been struggling to find an individual to speak for Trump’s election campaign company. And, it now turns out, that formal company no longer exists. As a result of all that, Team Grant need more time.

In a letter to the judge overseeing the case last weekend, Grant’s lawyers requested a 45 day extension to the discovery phase, noting “there have been two previous extensions for defendants to locate and produce a corporate representative of Donald J Trump For President Inc … which were so ordered by the court on 14 Jun and 13 Jul. The extensions both followed President Trump’s deposition, which occurred on 9 Jun, 2022”.

“On 16 Aug, for the first time, defendants represented that they would not be able to locate a corporate representative to testify on behalf of the company and thus would not be producing a witness or witnesses to respond to plaintiff’s deposition notice. Then, on 18 Aug, defendants disclosed that the company dissolved in October of 2021”.

With the Trump side not putting anyone forward to speak for the former President’s 2020 campaign, Grant’s lawyers have identified Scavino as someone to question, he being Social Media Director for the campaign as well as Deputy Chief Of Staff for the Trump administration.

“Mr Scavino is reported to have frequently authored and/or reviewed Mr Trump’s tweets and defendants have represented that Mr Scavino had a role in the alleged tweet containing the infringing video”, the letter said.

“Defendants have also represented that Mr Scavino was not employed by the company. Plaintiffs have requested Mr Scavino’s last known address from defendants and defendants have responded by providing plaintiffs with Mr Scavino’s attorney’s contact information”.

“Plaintiff respectfully requests that the court so order the requested extension in this letter motion if it finds the same acceptable”, the letter concluded. And yesterday the judge did just that, providing the 45 day extension Grant’s team wanted. It remains to be seen if Scavino has anything useful to say about the 2020 campaign video that used Grant’s song without permission.