Monday, October 13, 2008

There Goes My Hero . . .

You know your campaign his having trouble when washed up rock artists - like Heart - don't want you playing their song at your hate-filled rallies.  

Such is the subject of Professor Chris Sprigman and Siva Vaidhyanathan's op-ed piece in today's Washington Post, Cue 'Barracuda':

Artists have frequently spoken out against John McCain's presidential campaign for using their songs without their permission. Last week, the rock band Foo Fighters complained about the campaign playing its 1997 hit "My Hero" at rallies. Van Halen, which complained in 2004 when George W. Bush used its 1991 hit "Right Now," has objected to McCain's use of the same song. John Mellencamp complained about the use of his 1983 song "Pink Houses." Warner Music Group demanded that McCain remove videos from YouTube that mock Barack Obama as a "celebrity" using the classic 1967 Frankie Valli song "Can't Take My Eyes Off You." Jackson Browne filed a lawsuit to stop the Ohio Republican Party from using his 1977 hit "Running on Empty" to attack Obama on McCain's behalf.

* * * 

We sympathize -- to a point -- with artists who object to the use of their songs by political candidates. Artists should speak up, loudly, when they feel the use of their songs misrepresents their views, particularly if such use could create the public impression of an endorsement.

But the one thing they should not do -- and should not legally be permitted to do -- is file a copyright lawsuit to prevent the political use of a song.

Oh Noes!  We would go a different route - John McCain *is* a hero after all, so shouldn't he, by common law right, be able to play the song whenever he likes?


Siva said...

Yes, I like your argument as well.

Palin IS a Barracuda!

McCain IS a hero!

Very nice. :)

Thanks for the notice.

Rule 12 (f) said...

No problem, it was good article, makes us want to learn about copyrights and such.

Consider writing for the Law Weekly BTW, our readership is almost as broad as the WaPo, and at least as intelligent.

-Rule 12 f

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