My pal LJ sent me a clipping from her local paper--thanks for thinking of me, hon!
It concerns the songs that the RNC has used in this campaign, and the artists' reactions. I would attribute it to the author, but none is given; I also don't know what paper this is from. So I'll just say that the following is not my writing, and I in no way claim it for my own. Discussion to follow.
Republicans' song selections anger many musicians
This campaign season, Republicans have been using songs from artists who wouldn't have given permission if asked, and some who have spoken up to ask that their songs not be used in the future. Here's the No-Thanks-GOP playlist so far.
Van Halen, "Right Now": Their management said the band had no idea McCain was using "Right Now" during his big entrance in Dayton, saying, "Permission was not sought or granted nor would it have been given."
Jackson Browne, "Running On Empty": The singer who endorsed Sen. Barack Obama filed a lawsuit last month against McCain and the Republican National Committee for using his song.
Heart, "Barracuda": Ann and Nancy Wilson condemned the usage, adding that Universal Music Publishing and Sony BMG have sent a cease-and-desist notice to the McCain-Palin campaign.
Orleans, "Still the One": McCain irked the song's co-writer, the group's founding member and current New York congressman, John Hall.
Frankie Valli, "Can't Take My Eyes Off Of You": Warner Music Group appears to have demanded that YouTube remove "Obama Love," a montage of press fawning over Obama that had been posted on Sen. John McCain's official YouTube channel.
First of all...Senator McCain has an official YouTube channel?! That's something I never expected to hear!
I'm pretty confused, though. Sheria tells us that if the rights are purchased, the artist has no say in who uses the song. Is this a sort of "respect for the artist" kind of thing? In other words, if the artist says that they do not agree with someone's ideology, and requests that their song not be used by that person or group, does the person reluctantly say, "Okay," and stop it just to avoid any further conflict?
I'm really curious about this, because it seems that I'm not the only one who picked up on the song usage thing, after hearing "Barracuda" at the RNC--it resulted in a small article in a newspaper. Jackson Browne actually filed a lawsuit, and Heart has filed a cease-and-desist. So IS there something different about the right to use songs? Is there an element of artistic discretion? DID the RNC purchase the rights, or just play the song? Van Halen says they had no idea their song was being used, and that permission wasn't sought--do they even have the right to refuse permission? Were the rights really purchased through ASCAP?
I know this may seem like a trivial issue to most folks, but as a music lover, I'm really curious about it. Although I'm sure you couldn't tell! <grin>