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September 22, 2008
Politics and Song Rights
This isn't another political song remix, or even a political song parody. This is about the use of (usually American pop) songs in political ads and campaign appearances by candidates for a political party. In this case, McCain for the Republicans.
First off, we have the candidate's use of the song "Barracuda" by the band Heart, even though the band has asked them to stop. Sorry girls, that's what you get for entrusting your license rights to a blind agency like ASCAP. All the McCain camp has to do is pay the fees and away they go, right?
Well, yes, it'd be nice if they did pay the fees. According to TMZ they might not have cleared every song they used. I mean, what remixer goes through all that trouble, right?
And, really, what's an artist going to do, sue John McCain? Well, um, yes. Jackson Browne is suing McCain (and the Ohio Republican party, which apparently produced the ad in question) for using Browne's music without permission.
According to the LA Times blog post McCain has "a track record of using music without permission." This is all probably just a tempest in a teapot, but it's pretty funny from where I'm sitting.
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