Music

Musicians Sign Open Letter Demanding Clearance for Campaign Songs

Dozens of high-profile musicians in pop, rock and hip-hop have partnered with the Artist Rights Coalition in an open letter demanding that politicians get clearance on the music they play at campaign rallies and other public events.

The letter calls for major political party committees in the U.S. to “establish clear policies requiring campaigns to seek consent of featured recording artists, songwriters and copyright owners before publicly using their music in a political or campaign setting.”

“As artists, activists and citizens, we ask you to pledge that all candidates you support will seek consent from featured recording artists and songwriters before using their music in campaign and political settings,” it reads. “This is the only way to effectively protect your candidates from legal risk, unnecessary public controversy and the moral quagmire that comes from falsely claiming or implying an artist’s support or distorting an artists’ expression in such a high stakes public way.”

The letter’s signees include the Rolling Stones’ Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler and Joe Perry, Sia, Regina Spektor, R.E.M, Lorde, Blondie, Elvis Costello, Sheryl Crow, Rosanne Cash, Lionel Richie, Pearl Jam and Green Day.

Campaign music has become a heated topic throughout the 2016 and 2020 presidential campaigns, where several artists have objected to the use of their catalog at rallies for President Donald Trump. The Rolling Stones, Neil Young, Mike Stipe and others have all threatened the Trump campaign with legal action for using their songs without permission at public events.

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