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Kim Davis reacts to her release
01:59 - Source: CNN

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"Eye of the Tiger" co-writer said Mike Huckabee intentionally violated copyright laws

The Republican's campaign has yet to comment on the legal action

Washington CNN  — 

A songwriter of the hit song “Eye of the Tiger” is suing Mike Huckabee for playing the tune at a rally following Kim Davis’ release from jail.

Rude Music - which is owned by Frankie Sullivan, co-writer of the song - filed a lawsuit against Huckabee’s campaign on Wednesday for copyright infringement in federal court in Illinois.

The lawsuit charges the former Arkansas governor allowed the Grammy-winning song to be played publicly at a campaign appearance supporting the county clerk who gained national attention after refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

The Huckabee campaign said it would not be “bullied.”

“Mr. Sullivan is demanding an amount of money that exceeds the average yearly salary of a hard-working American simply because a snippet of his song was played briefly at a rally,” Huckabee spokeswoman Alice Stewart told CNN Thursday. “The campaign offered Mr. Sullivan fair compensation, but that offer was rejected. We refuse to be bullied.”
RELATED: Band unhappy with use of ‘Tiger’

Sullivan, a founding member of the band “Survivor,” had previously sued Newt Gingrich for using the hit song in his 2012 race for the White House.

The popular song was theme song for the movie “Rocky III” and eventually won a Grammy, according to the lawsuit.

The lawsuit claims Huckabee was aware that he was committing copyright infringement.

“Artists’ complaints of candidates’ unauthorized use of their songs have become an election-year staple. According to news reports, in 2008 the founder of the band Boston demanded that Mr. Huckabee’s presidential campaign stop playing the Boston hit “More Than a Feeling” at his events,” the suit said.