Frank Sullivan III of the band filed a lawsuit against Huckabee for copyright infringement last year. Guitarist Sullivan is the co-author of the song and his company, Rude Music, owns rights to the track.
Huckabee played the song during a rally in support of county clerk Kim Davis in Grayson, Ken., on Sept. 8, 2015. Davis hit the spotlight when she refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, citing her religious beliefs. She was ordered to jail for contempt of court after refusing to follow court orders.
“‘Eye of the Tiger’ was played as Mr. Huckabee escorted Ms. Davis from the Carter County Detention Center,” read the allegation.
Huckabee argued that the usage of the 1982 song was “‘fair use’ because the purpose and character of the use was of a non-commercial and religious nature, signifying joy and praise at the release of Mrs. Davis from confinement.”
However, Huckabee settled out of court with Rude Music, agreeing to pay $25,000. News of the settlement only became public when federal election records revealed the monies as a campaign expense, listing it as a “legal settlement” for “copyright infringement.” Huckabee paid $12,500 in May. The remaining balance was listed as “debts and obligations.”
The former Arkansas governor ran for the Republican presidential ticket until he bowed out of the race on Feb. 1. Huckabee endorsed Donald Trump in a statement via his website, calling for unity within the party.