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
15
Thu, 06-30-2011 - 7:58am
Have none of these politicians heard of copy right?

 


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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.
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: 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."<

>"CONCLUSION
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?

 


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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: 04-07-2002
Sounds good to me!

 nwtreehugger  

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-27-2009
Maybe what these politicians need to do then is start commissioning song writers to produce campaign songs for them instead of trying to adapt what is already produced.
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-07-2002
I know a few musicians, I'll see if they can answer that. I've read that the Foo Fighters won't let "Glee" use their music. Now that could be because it would be 'rerecordable' because it's a TV show (it's because Grohl doesn't like glee club type music, actually)...but the same can be said of any recording of a political campaign speech whether or not someone else is singing the songs. That makes me think that there may be more to some of the 'service contracts' than we know about.

I did note that the 'liberals' seem to be asking permission first & we have no idea how many performers/composers have said no to them because they didn't use the music..... I would hate to assume that all performers are 'liberal'.

I can find no mention of whether or not royalties were paid. Even on the 'conservative leaning' sites. And to me, that makes no difference. They should still ask permission because this is a very public association.

As an artist myself, I am very protective of how my artwork is used. It's my creation & it's my right. I'd never sign a contract that didn't give me some control.

As for question #2 - Yes, I think there is. Whether they paid royalties or not, I think that something like a poiltical campaign is different. And again, I find it quite likely that many performers have retained much more control over their music.

 nwtreehugger  

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-27-2009
I understand this part of it. However, I also know for a fact that permission is gained to use music in a public venue through the agencies that perform this service and people are not contacting the musicians that use these services.

What you posted is just more of the same and it leaves a lot of questions unanswered.
My top two.
1. Did these conservatives gain the right through a service and it's just sour grapes with the musicians b/c they are liberal?
2. Is there a difference when it's a political campaign and simply using music in a public venue that requires individual permission that no one else is required to get as long as they pay royalties through a service?

Again, with the additional articles it sounds even more like a case of "I don't want my music associated with that person", the part that is missing is did they pay for the right?
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-07-2002

http://xfinity.comcast.net/slideshow/music-rockersvspoliticians/14/
Foo Fighters vs. John McCain
Dave Grohl and company were upset to learn presidential candidate John McCain had been using their hit “My Hero” as his campaign theme songs. The republican nominee had apparently neglected to ask for permission first. "The saddest thing about this is that `My Hero' was written as a celebration of the common man and his extraordinary potential," the band said in a statement. "To have it appropriated without our knowledge and used in a manner that perverts the original sentiment of the lyric just tarnishes the song." —Jeff Royer

Also, John Mellenkamp gave the Edward's campaign permission to use "Little Pink Houses" & one of his other songs.

 nwtreehugger  

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-27-2009
Yes, I know. I discussed that and provided a link as to how it works in an earlier post.
The article is not about conservatives not paying royalties, the article is biased and doesn't really tell the entire story. Since the article does not mention failure to pay royalties, I can assume that they are being paid, and most likely through a service that most use when they are playing music frequently in public spaces. You don't need musician permission to do that, it is granted by the contract the musicians have set up with the service. It's the easiest way for groups and individuals as well as the musicians to deal with the royalty issue.
The problem here seems to be that the musicians don't want their name hooked up with a conservative politician, or the author is even more biased than the article demonstrates and is only noting complaints toward conservatives that use music in their campaigns and ignoring complaints made against liberals.

Which then gives rise to the question, if these politicians have gained the legal rights to use the songs played at their rallies, what ground do the musicians really have to complain? Seems like it's the conservatives that are taking the high road.

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