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Politicians using songs without artist permission


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A non-partisan discussion.

I was just reading how The Stones and Elton John recent fired off severe objections to using their songs in a campaign.


So in researching the subject, I ran across this ...

Technically speaking, copyright laws allow political candidates to use just about any song they want, as long as they're played at a stadium, arena or other venue that already has a public-performance license through a songwriters' association such as ASCAP or BMI. However, the law contains plenty of gray area. If a candidate refuses to stop using a song in this scenario, an artist may be able to protect his "right of publicity" – Springsteen's voice blaring over a loudspeaker is part of his image, and he has a right to protect his own image. "It's untested in the political realm," says Lawrence Iser, an intellectual-property lawyer who has represented the Beatles, Michael Jackson and many others. "Even if Donald Trump has the ASCAP right to use a Neil Young song, does Neil have the right to nevertheless go after him on right of publicity? I say he does."




I agree. Because if it was my song, I would want to protect what it it used to "represent" or "promote".

E.G. If I was opposed to alcohol consumption, say on a deep and personal level, not just a simply objection, an all out loathe the practice, say, than I wouldn't want my song used in a Beer commercial or a Scotch ad. I say that's a justifiable objection.  Well a political candidate can certainly strike a similar chord with an artist.


What do you think?

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I think aging rock stars love having their music used by candidates that they do not support. It gives them an opportunity to become relevant again, have their music brought to public attention again and to have the media talk to them about their political views. Free publicity. Do rockers have a problem with their songs being used in political campaigns or just political campaigns they don't like? I think it's the latter.

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