The Rolling Stones are now on a growing list of rock stars who have asked Republicans to stop using their music. This time it was Donald Trump, who has been playing the Stones’ music at his rallies.
Just one day after Trump unofficially sealed the GOP nomination, the band stated that they had not given permission for the billionaire to use their music and they asked that he “cease all use immediately.”
Ironically, the song in question is “You Can’t Always Get What You Want,” which is about compromise – something the Republicans know little to nothing about and something that goes against everything Donald Trump has been campaigning against. The campaign has also played “Start Me Up.”
Trump, who will take anyone to court for virtually anything, seems not to care very much about artists’ intellectual property rights.
Trump, perhaps more than most candidates, uses music to energize his crowds. Here’s just one small sample, although not with the song in question:
TrumpTube, which is like YouTube for Donald Trump, posted his playlist and the Rolling Stones song is still at the very top, with an unofficial video, of course.
Adele and Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler both asked the candidate to stop using their recorded songs to fire up crowds. Neil Young also objected when the real estate mogul used “Rockin’ in the Free World” during his campaign kickoff announcement last year. In those cases, the Trump campaign stopped using the songs.
Source: CBS News
Trump is far from the only Republican to receive backlash from artists for using their music. FiveThirtyEight compiled this list last year, after Neil Young told Trump to knock it off. The list begins with Ronald Reagan, after Bruce Springsteen famously told him that “Born In The USA” didn’t mean what Reagan thought it did. Both Bushes received cease and desist orders. John McCain made enemies of a whopping nine artists – as diverse as ABBA, Heart, Jackson Brown, Tom Petty and the Foo Fighters. John Cougar Mellencamp had to ask two GOP candidates, McCain and Reagan, to stop using “Pink Houses.” Again, they had no idea what that song was about.
Whether Trump (or any others of the candidates) was really violating copyright law is up to interpretation. Most commercially marketed music is licensed through one of two organizations, ASCAP and BMI. Campaigns can buy licenses without the artists’ permission in most cases, however, some of the more powerful and influential artists do have some say over what songs can be included in the licensing agreements.
Trump’s campaign hasn’t yet commented.
Featured image via YouTube screen shot.