Music

Sir Elton John and Sir Mick Jagger sign letter calling for ban on politicians using music without permission


Sir Mick Jagger and Sir Elton John are among the artists who do not want to be ‘dragged into politics (Picture: Getty)

Sir Elton John, Sir Mick Jagger and Lionel Richie are among the musicians who have signed an open letter calling for a ban on politicians playing their music unauthorised. 

Donald Trump and many other politicians have come under fire over the years for playing an artist’s music without their permission. 

In the letter shared on the Artist Rights Alliance website, the singers state that the politicians could be in breach of copyright law if they continue to use their songs. 

Cyndi Lauper, Lorde, R.E.M., Linkin Park, Steven Tyler and Joe Perry, Sia, Blondie, Sheryl Crow, Green Day and Panic! at the Disco are among the other artists who have joined the petition. 

‘Being dragged unwillingly into politics in this way can compromise an artist’s personal values while disappointing and alienating fans – with great moral and economic cost,’ the letter states. 

‘For artists that do choose to engage politically in campaigns or other contexts, this kind of unauthorised public use confuses their message and undermines their effectiveness.

‘Music tells powerful stories and drives emotional connection and engagement – that’s why campaigns use it, after all! But doing so without permission siphons away that value,’ it continued. 

President Donald Trump has been called out for playing songs without permission at his events (Picture: AP)

They added: ‘It can confuse and disappoint fans and even undermine an artists’ long-term income – and mostly, it’s just not right. Politicians that want to represent the public trust must do better – by seeking consent before exploiting an artist’s or songwriter’s image and work.’ 

The Alliance has asked that both the Democrats and Republicans establish policies to ensure politicians secure permission before using songs at their events. They have set a date of August 10 for disclosing how they plan to implement the changes.

In June, Trump was hit with a cease and desist letter from Linkin Park after he shared a campaign-style video featuring their song In The End. 

‘Linkin Park did not and does not endorse Trump, nor authorize his organization to use any of our music. A cease and desist has been issued,’ a tweet read on the band’s Twitter account. 

That same month, Rolling Stones warned the President that he could face legal action after he walked out to their track You Can’t Always Get What You Want at a rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma. 

A statement said: ‘The BMI have notified the Trump campaign on behalf of the Stones that the unauthorised use of their songs will constitute a breach of its licensing agreement. 

‘If Donald Trump disregards the exclusion and persists then he would face a lawsuit for breaking the embargo and playing music that has not been licensed.’

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