Artists and Politicians Face Off: Nine Contentious Campaign-Song Battles

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-18-2000
Artists and Politicians Face Off: Nine Contentious Campaign-Song Battles
Thu, 06-30-2011 - 7:58am
Have none of these politicians heard of copy right?




iVillage Member
Registered: 04-07-2002
Sounds good to me!


iVillage Member
Registered: 11-27-2009

I wanted to answer your question, yes, it seems that politicians do understand copyright, at least in Palin's case, and most likely in others (including Obama that experienced the same type of stop using my music letter, just politer that most of what's been reported for Republicans it seems

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-18-2000

This appears to be a civilized exchange........

>"Moore’s gracious letter wished Obama well with his campaign for the Democratic nomination, adding:

Having been hit with rocks and water hoses in the streets, in the day with Dr. King as part of his artist appearance and fundraising team, it is thrilling, in my lifetime, to see that our country has matured to the place where it is no longer an impossibility for a man of color to really be considered as a legitimate candidate for the highest office in our land.

But please, Moore continued, stop using my song. “I have not agreed to endorse you for the highest office in our land....My vote is a very private matter between myself and the ballot box.”

Obama's team agreed to stop using the song."<

From page 31...

Proposed legislation........

>"However, because this use
of “Barracuda,” although potentially communicative, did not relate to a discrete
political issue that was the subject of national discussion, the McCain–Palin
campaign’s interest in using the song is outweighed by Ann and Nancy Wilson’s
significant nonassociation interests. Thus, under the proposed legislation, the
campaign would probably be held liable if it did not obtain approval from the
Wilson sisters to use the song."<

Music is, and always will be, a powerful way to communicate ideas. It is thus
unsurprising that, since the first presidential election in the United States,
campaigns have sought to harness this power to seize the attention of the public
and to reach out to the electorate.226 Political candidates should, of course, be
able to use music in this way, but the competing interests of the musical artists
responsible for that music must be protected as well. When a political campaign
performs a musical artist’s song without permission and against her wishes, the
artist is forced to associate with a message she does not support, thus threatening
her personal autonomy and integrity. When copyright provides no remedy
and existing, alternative remedies are both incapable of protecting the musical
artist and ill-equipped to balance the competing First Amendment interests at
stake, Congress must act to address this lacuna in the law.
The legislation I have proposed would encourage political campaigns to
obtain approval from the musical artists responsible for the creation of a song or
sound recording before featuring it as part of a campaign message. It would do
so by granting the musical artist a narrow approval right over her music that
would apply exclusively in the context of political uses. However, this right
would not be absolute. Under the proposed statute, the candidate would be able
to invoke an affirmative defense that would protect the use of the song if that
use communicated a discrete political message and thus constituted political
speech. Political speech is at the heart of what is protected by the First
Amendment because we rely on it to foster an informed electorate which, in
turn, ensures the strength of our democracy. But the selection and use of music
that is devoid of any political message is not political speech at all. Such a use,
which merely exploits a song’s popular appeal and energy without commenting
on a political issue, need not and should not be protected."<

If I were a music/song writer I would be greatly offended if someone I staunchly disagreed with used my work to enhance their message. Would it not offend you if you were in that position?



iVillage Member
Registered: 11-27-2009
Yes, it probably would. However, the question I have had was if the politician's campaign staff contracted with a royalty service, does that gain permission. The answer is yes and no, but in Palin's case, it was yes. She was covered for Barracuda. So it's not always about copyright, it's also about politics. If a performer makes their music available for public use, it's wrong of them to then cry foul when someone they disagree with uses it.

In the piece I posted the author goes into remedying that. I think it was a very thoughtful piece.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-27-2009
The "exchange" as you put it, between Moore and Obama was indeed civil. It was nice to see, that has not always been the case. I also think it was nice to see it not become a major slam news story as we keep seeing regarding Republicans. It was handled quietly.