The estate of Tom Petty has issued a cease and desist to Republican Arizona gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake, who recently lost the race to Democrat Katie Hobbs. In a letter obtained by Pitchfork, Petty’s publisher Wixen Music Publishing condemns Lake’s use of the song “I Won’t Back Down” in a video the politician posted to her social media accounts earlier this week, as reported by Rolling Stone and Billboard (it now appears that Lake’s post has been deleted). Lake is currently refusing to concede the governor’s race despite Hobbs’ victory.
“It has come to Wixen’s and the Claimants’ attention that you and Kari Lake for Arizona are currently broadcasting, exhibiting, distributing, and otherwise exploiting the Composition in synchronization with an advertisement video made in connection with your bid to contest the results of the 2022 election for governor of Arizona (‘Unauthorized Video’) without Wixen’s and the Claimants’ approval,” the cease and desist letter reads. It continues:
Wixen added that any further use of the song could result in up to $150,000 per infringement. The publishing company also called for Lake’s campaign to confirm it has received the cease and desist letter by next week, and to provide Wixen with any further uses of the song from her campaign.
Prior to sending a formal cease and desist letter, Petty’s estate posted a statement on Twitter decrying Lake’s use of the song. Back in 2020, Petty’s estate issued a cease and desist to Donald Trump’s presidential reelection campaign for its use of “I Won’t Back Down” at a rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma.