Leopona, Inc. et al. v. Cruz for President, No. 00658-2016 (W.D. Wash. July 11, 2016).
In a case involving former presidential candidate Ted Cruz's use of two licensed songs in YouTube videos supporting his campaign, the Court denied Cruz's motion to dismiss the plaintiffs' copyright infringement and breach of contract claims. The breach of contract claim, which included a $25,000 liquidated damages provision, arose out of a license agreement that restricted use of the licensed song for political purposes. The court held that the licensor's claim was not pre-empted by section 301 of the Copyright Act because the licensor was not the copyright owner (it was a distribution and licensing service), and the actual copyright owners (the song's authors) had not brought breach of contract claims -- they had brought only copyright infringement claims. Lastly, on the claim for an injunction, the Court held that it was not moot due to suspension of the Cruz campaign because the YouTube videos were still available online.