Lerner & Rowe Music News

Pearl Jam, Green Day & more urge political campaigns to seek consent before using music in open letter

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Musicians including Pearl Jam, Green Day, Mick Jagger and Keith Richards of The Rolling Stones and Aerosmith have all signed an open letter asking that political campaigns seek consent from the recording artists and songwriters before using their music.

The letter comes after a recent run of artists including The Stones — as well as Linkin Park and Panic! at the Disco, who also signed — called out President Donald Trump for using their music without permission.

“This is not a new problem,” the letter reads. “Or a partisan one.”

The letter, which was published in partnership with the Artists Rights Alliance, points to the litany of potential legal issues, such as copyright and trademark infringement, that can arise when a politician uses an artist’s song without consent, while also pointing out the moral dilemma.

“More importantly, falsely implying support or endorsement from an artist or songwriter is dishonest and immoral,” the letter reads. “It undermines the campaign process, confuses the voting public, and ultimately distorts elections. It should be anathema to any honest candidate to play off this kind of uncertainty or falsely leave the impression of an artist’s or songwriter’s support.”

Ultimately, the signees ask campaign committees to “establish clear policies requiring campaigns supported by your committees to seek the consent of featured recording artists, songwriters, and copyright owners before publicly using their music in a political or campaign setting.” They request an answer regarding a “plan to accomplish these changes” by August 10.

Other artists who signed include Blondie, Lorde, R.E.M., Courtney Love, the Kurt Cobain estate, Fall Out Boy, The Black KeysPatrick Carney, Alanis Morissette, Andrew McMahon, Cake, and Sheryl Crow.

To read the full letter and view all of those who signed, visit ArtistRightsAlliance.org.

By Josh Johnson
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