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orange
06-28-2011, 02:53 PM
Tom Petty Tells Michele Bachmann: Don't Use "American Girl"

By: Ted Johnson
Published: Tue, June 28, 2011, 1:11 PM


Campaign 2012 may be unpredictable, but you can be certain of one thing: Republicans will get in trouble for unauthorized use of hit songs.

When Michele Bachmann used Tom Petty's "American Girl" at a kickoff campaign rally on Monday, the singer was none too happy. According to the Star Tribune, he's sent a cease and desist letter to stop playing his 1977 classic.

This is not the first time that a campaign has run afoul of public performance copyrights, and it isn't even the first time the Petty has tried to put a stop to it. He balked at George W. Bush's use of "I Won't Back Down" at campaign events in 2000.

Republicans balk that they are the ones usually targeted by musicians, part of an industry that leans to the left. And they may be right. Hillary Clinton, after all, used "American Girl" in her campaign as well.

That's because artists are also concerned about false endorsement, or the impression that voters may have that a politician has received permission, and therefore approval of their political stances, by a songwriter or singer.

In 2008, Jackson Browne, a supporter of candidate Barack Obama, sue John McCain for using "Running on Empty" in a campaign ad. As it turned out, the spot was run by the Ohio Republican Party, but the suit ended in what sources said was a six figure settlement with the Republican National Committee.

Last year, Don Henley won a judgment against Chuck DeVore, a candidate for U.S. Senate in California, for using a parody of "Boys of Summer" and "All She Wants to Do Is Dance" in campaign web videos. DeVore had defended the videos as a parody, and therefore a fair use of copyrighted work. But the federal judge didn't buy it.

And earlier this year, David Byrne reached a settlement with former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist after Crist used "Road to Nowhere" in a campaign advertisement. The settlement amount was undisclosed, but part of it was a videotaped apology from Crist, posted on YouTube, that has the feel of a hostage reading off a statement on demand of a his captors.

So why does this keep on happening?

"They just think music is free like a lot of other people on the planet," says Lee Phillips, senior partner at Manatt, Phelps & Phillips in Los Angeles.

What happens is that campaigns want a song that gets attention --- and may be thinking of that above all else.

Phillips represents Steve Perry of Journey, which has been especially conscious of who is playing there music and where. Especially popular has been the 1981 hit "Don't Stop Believin," which has undergone a revival ever since it was used in the 2007 finale of "The Sopranos." The song seems especially suited to a political campaign --- but Perry and Journey were none too pleased when they got word that Newt Gingrich had used it at an event. Their attorneys sent a cease and desist letter.

Usually, that is it. But the legal issues can change, or get murkier, when a campaign has obtained an ASCAP license to play an array of different hits. Then, artists tend to rely on the argument that the campaign is giving the impression of an implied endorsement.

"Our position is that you are tying in the performer with the position, and that is a false endorsement," Phillips says, adding that it is a "personal choice to the people who own the song."

Usually, the campaign stops the use of a song in public performances. But the situation gets more complex when a song is used as part of an ad or web video. In April, Journey's legal team filed suit against Adalah NY, a pro-Palestinian group that organized a "flash mob" at Grand Central Station in which activists sing and dance to a variation of the music, "Don't Stop Boycottin." The YouTube version became a viral hit.

Lawyers also have gotten more adept at sending out "cease and desist" notices quickly. They may be mindful of the example from 1988, when Bobby McFerrin's "Don't Worry, Be Happy" became an anthem of George H.W. Bush's campaign before the singer publicly expressed his displeasure, ordered them to stop and even dropped it from his concert playlists.

Phillips has his own idea for campaigns: Write some original music. He knows it takes time and doesn't get the attention, but it's been done before. And thank God it has, because otherwise we wouldn't have 1972's "Nixon Now," below.


Read more: http://www.wilshireandwashington.com/2011/06/tom-petty-tells-michele-bachmann-dont-use-american-girl.html#ixzz1Qbdleai6

orange
06-28-2011, 02:56 PM
First in - "Tom's just being petty."

alpha_omega
06-28-2011, 03:11 PM
Michelle to Tom..."You're Jammin' Me"

Jaric
06-28-2011, 03:14 PM
The dollar is FREEEEEEEEEEE..... FREEEEE FAAAAALLLINNG...

headsnap
06-28-2011, 03:14 PM
I went back to Ohio and now my song will forever be associated with Rush Limbaugh....

stevieray
06-28-2011, 04:10 PM
he calls her his honey bee

Cannibal
06-28-2011, 04:15 PM
Toby Keith would probably have no problem with Bachman using his songs. There are plenty of country artists who's music the Republicans can probably use.

Bewbies
06-28-2011, 04:35 PM
Bachmann should complement his pretty hair.

HonestChieffan
06-28-2011, 04:59 PM
This changes everything.

Jaric
06-28-2011, 05:06 PM
This changes everything.

That's how I decide who to vote for.

The first guy to play some Skynyrd.

Jaric
06-28-2011, 05:07 PM
That's actually why John Kerry had that one kid tazed. He wouldn't stop screaming "PLAY SOME FREEBIRD!"

Saul Good
06-29-2011, 10:36 AM
Toby Keith would probably have no problem with Bachman using his songs. There are plenty of country artists who's music the Republicans can probably use.

TK is actually a Democrat.

RaiderH8r
06-29-2011, 01:22 PM
TK is actually a Democrat.

You can tell by his sandy vagina. He shoulda been a cowboy but that would require him to rope and ride and he can't do that stuff fer shit so he decided to be a democrat.

fan4ever
06-29-2011, 01:57 PM
I would think Tom Petty would be happy anyone's playing his music...

mikey23545
06-29-2011, 02:04 PM
I can see now the Dems are going to focus on Barry's accomplishments to win re-election.

Chief Henry
06-29-2011, 02:29 PM
I can see now the Dems are going to focus on Barry's accomplishments to win re-election.

:doh!:

oldandslow
06-29-2011, 02:35 PM
I can see now the Dems are going to focus on Barry's accomplishments to win re-election.

They will have too if the repubs run an adult...but it seems to me that the repubs are in suicide mode...

Backwards Masking
06-29-2011, 02:35 PM
I would think Tom Petty would be happy anyone's playing his music...

uh, OK. I've been hearing Petty on the radio and at friends and gf's and my parents houses all my life. He's just rebellious enough not to be considered a sellout and wholesome enough that nobody's gonna be offended by him. He's also one of the most popular (not to mention best seliling) solo artists in the history of Classic Rock.

fan4ever
06-29-2011, 03:25 PM
uh, OK. I've been hearing Petty on the radio and at friends and gf's and my parents houses all my life. He's just rebellious enough not to be considered a sellout and wholesome enough that nobody's gonna be offended by him. He's also one of the most popular (not to mention best seliling) solo artists in the history of Classic Rock.

I understand that; I own some of his music.

He just isn't relevent anymore, hence my comment.