Mad at McCain: Jackson Browne.
Mad at McCain: Jackson Browne. (By Stuart Ramson -- Why Via Associated Press)
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Friday, August 15, 2008

Browne, Seeing Red

Rocker Jackson Browne is suing John McCain for using his song "Running on Empty" in a campaign ad, but McCain's spokesman says the ad was put together by the Ohio Republican Party, not the campaign. Browne, a well-known activist for liberal causes, is "incensed" that his 1977 song is being used without permission in a commercial that blasts Democrat Barack Obama, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Yesterday, Browne, 59, filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against McCain and the Republican National Committee in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, seeking a permanent injunction prohibiting the use of the song, or any of his other compositions, as well as damages. McCain spokesman Brian Rogers told the Times that the campaign did not sponsor or produce the ad, but Browne's attorney, Lawrence Y. Iser, said they have the right defendants in their sights. "We have sued the Ohio Republican Party as well, and we have been informed and believe that McCain and his campaign were well aware of the ad," Iser said. Browne declined to comment.

No Charges Against Bale

Actor Christian Bale will not face charges related to an alleged assault on his mother and sister last month, prosecutors in London said yesterday, suggesting that their decision was based in part on Bale's family members' wishes.

Britain's Crown Prosecution Service told the Associated Press that insufficient evidence is available to afford a "realistic prospect of conviction," and police were ordered not to take further action in the case. In a statement, the service said that though it takes all domestic violence incidents seriously, "it is important that the views of complainants are also taken into account when making decisions in such cases."

British media had reported that Bale's mother and sister told police he assaulted them at the Dorchester Hotel on July 20, a day before attending the European premiere of his film "The Dark Knight." Bale, 34, denied the allegations.

In a statement from spokeswoman Jennifer Allen, Bale said he "hopes to put the matter firmly behind him" and will provide no further comment. His family has repeatedly declined to comment, calling the matter "personal."

Steinbeck Copyright Case Settled

The U.S. Court of Appeals in New York ruled Wednesday that heirs of John Steinbeck's widow, Elaine Steinbeck, are rightful owners of copyright to many of the novelist's best-known early works -- including "Of Mice and Men," "The Grapes of Wrath" and "Tortilla Flat" -- dismissing ownership claims of the writer's biological heirs, the Los Angeles Times reports.

A unanimous three-judge panel overturned a 2006 federal court ruling that gave publishing rights to the author's only surviving son, Thomas Steinbeck, and granddaughter, Blake Smyle. Thomas, Steinbeck's son from a previous marriage, sought to end a 1994 agreement between his stepmother and the Penguin Group by asserting rights over a publishing deal his father forged in 1938.

The court ruled that the 1938 deal was superseded by Elaine Steinbeck's 1994 agreement, and that her estate will retain rights to -- and royalties from -- the books.

End Notes

Expecting: Mexican actor Gael García Bernal, 29, is expecting his first child with girlfriend Dolores Fonzi, a 20-year-old Argentine actress, AP reports. The news comes a few days after People reported that Bernal's "Y Tu Mamá También" co-star Diego Luna, 28, and wife Camila Sodi, 21, welcomed their first child, a boy.

Spotted: Former secretary of state Madeleine Albright enjoying a quiet dinner of salad and tea with a female companion at Hook on Wednesday . . . A quintet of Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders dining at 2941 Restaurant in Falls Church on Tuesday night. The group -- just back from a trip to India, where they cheered at a cricket match with Washington Redskins cheerleaders -- sampled the grilled swordfish, smoked duck and spiced rack of lamb.

-- Marissa Newhall, from staff, wire and Web reports

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