Can anyone use and play, at any event.. a song?

I'm asking this because I have heard in news that certain "celebrities/musicians" have said "I don't want Trump using "MY" song at his rallies"  I say TFB you may have written and or preformed a certain song.. but it's NOT yours, if so you shouldn't have put it out to market, on the airwaves, on the internet to make a profit.. because when I buy something, It's mine to use how I want.. if I buy a car, does it still belong to Ford Chevy or whomever? NO.. it is mine to do what I want with, I can enjoy it, push it over a cliff or give it to whomever I want.. maybe Trump.. ha ha.. I hate it when artist/musicians do that.. It makes me not want to listen to their stuff anymore.. ugh!! keep your politics out of it guys.. We don't care.. entertain us..Period.   

3 Answers

  • 1 month ago

    Like Mordent, I, and my husband,  have  LONG careers as full-time professional musicians and educators - close to fifty years - and that is not counting all the years in which we accumulated serious educations and multiple degrees.  This was not cheap, and did not come without a great deal of effort.  There is a reason that copyright laws exist; if a person composes something, it is THEIRS.  As Mordent has stated, there are people who will sign away rights to their intellectual property - paintings they have done, music they wrote, etc. - for a variety of reasons, most of which are financial.  And random person cannot just yell "MUSIC SHOULD BE FREE!" and then use another person's creation without their (usually paid) permission,  You used owning a car as an example - yet, by your OWN metaphor, that also means that I can TAKE you car anytime I want, without asking you or compensating you, because it exists and is, as you say "out there".  You do know that this makes you a Communist, right?  Anything here, no matter who made it, can be given to anyone ELSE here - or taken by them???  You sacrificed to BUY that car - it is YOURS - an nobody can take it from you, but you can SELL it to anyone.  I bought my education, in many way beyond just the cost of tuition, and therefore what I create - or ANY person creates - is theirs, unless we choose otherwise.  Those who choose poorly - do not get legal assistance for contract, etc. - are victims of their own ignorance, sadly.  But those of us who are astute in these matters, have long, happy, prosperous careers. Indirectly, if you steal from ANY of us - you steal from me, Mordent, Tony, and all the other pros here and everywhere.  If we chose to give you a GIFT - that is another matter.

  • 1 month ago

    The reason politicians get away with it is that musicians give control of their catalogue to a Performing Rights Organisation. The PRO then deal with whoever wants to use it - film, TV, radio, whatever. Unless the artist specifically says "do not license my music to X" then they'll let anyone with the cash use it. The reason politicians can get away with it more than others is that it is the VENUE'S license that is used, not the political party. If you don't want PETA (for example) to be able to use your music in a video you can simply tell the PRO to not license it to them for the purpose of making a video soundtrack. However a musician (or their management) will have to really be on the ball to know where Trump was holding rallies and ban those specific venues from using their music, they cannot issue a blanket ban.

    There's a theory that an artist could sue under the Lanham Act, which forbids someone's trademark to be "diluted" through unauthorised use - but this has never been trialled against a political party before.

  • Anonymous
    1 month ago

    I don't know whether or not it's legal to use the song at a political rally against the musician's wishes. I do know that you can't use it in ANY given situation. For example, a commercial can't use it without permission because, theoretically, they will be making money from its use.

    I don't mind when musicians share their opinions. I live in the United States where everyone does or at least should have freedom of speech.

    It's not like the musicians were the ones who made it political. If a politician used their song, it was the politician who brought the music into politics.

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