Jackson Browne, John McCain

Evan Agostini/Getty Images, John McCain 2008

It's one thing to lose to Barack Obama. It's quite another, one would think, to have Jackson Browne get the better of you.

As it happens, John McCain chalked up just such a loss this morning to the singer-songwriter, putting an end to their grand ole musical lawsuit.

While the McCain-Browne face-off may not have been as captivating as former running mate Sarah Palin's media feud, what it lacked in incessant coverage, the nearly yearlong battle more than made up for in longevity. (Say what you will, but McCain showed the stamina of a defendant half his age.)

Browne filed suit last August when some now-alleged rogue campaign operatives from the Ohio Republican Party used his "Running on Empty" during an Obama-slamming Web video on energy policy. Problem was, the Republican team did about as good a job vetting the song as they did their V.P. candidate.

No license was obtained for the tune, and Browne sued McCain, the Republican National Committee and the Ohio Republican Party for copyright infringement.

The trio today released a statement of apology to go along with their newly brokered settlement, the financial terms of which have not been disclosed.

"We apologize that a portion of the Jackson Browne song 'Running on Empty' was used without permission. Although Senator McCain had no knowledge of, or involvement in, the creation or distribution of the Web campaign video, Senator McCain does not support or condone any actions taken by anyone involved in his 2008 presidential election campaign that were inconsistent with artists' rights or the various legal protections afforded to intellectual property."

In other words, he may be John McCain, but he apparently did not approve that message. He did, however, take his sweet time in letting that fact be known.

"The ORP, RNC and Senator McCain pledge in future election campaigns to respect and uphold the rights of artists and to obtain permissions and/or licenses for copyrighted works where appropriate."

Apparently there's such a thing as being too much of a maverick.


Can't get enough politics as unusual? See which celebs lean to the left in our Team Obama gallery.

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