Tom Petty Estate Threatens Legal Action Over Kari Lake’s Unauthorized Use of ‘I Won’t Back Down’

Tom Petty’s estate intends to take legal action against Kari Lake after the defeated Arizona gubernatorial candidate posted a video that uses the late musician’s song “I Won’t Back Down” without permission.

“The Tom Petty estate and our partners were shocked to find out that Tom’s song ‘I Won’t Back Down’ was stolen and used without permission or a license to promote Kari Lake’s failed campaign,” Petty’s verified Twitter account posted Thursday. “This is illegal. We are exploring all of our legal options to stop this unauthorized use and to prohibit future misappropriations of Tom’s beloved anthem.”

The thread finished by thanking “all of the fans who brought this to our attention and who help us protect his legacy every day.”

The day before, Lake shared a two-minute clip on Twitter featuring the 1989 classic with footage from her unsuccessful campaign. The tweet has since been deleted.

The Trump-endorsed Republican candidate refused to concede the race to Democrat Katie Hobbs after the results were called on Thursday – which is to say she “Won’t Back Down.”

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Lake, an established election denier, said she is putting together a legal team to gather “evidence and data” about the voting process.

“Rest assured, I have assembled the best and brightest legal team and we are exploring every avenue to correct the many wrongs that have been done this past week,” she said in a Thursday morning video. “I’m doing everything in my power to right these wrongs.”

Petty’s anthem has been the victim of unauthorized use by politicians in the past. In 2020, his estate issued a cease and desist to Donald Trump’s campaign after the song played at a rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Twenty years prior, Petty did the same to George W. Bush, stating that his use of the song at campaign appearances implied an endorsement. Petty performed the song at Al Gore’s home the night he conceded the presidential race.

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