Rolling Stones threaten to sue Trump for 'unauthorized use' of their songs at his campaign rallies
The Stones are currently disputing that their classic 1968 song 'You Can't Always Get What You Want' was used as Donald Trump's walk-off song during his recent campaign rallies
Legendary classic rock band the Rolling Stones have now joined the clamoring chorus of music artistes who have called out President Donald Trump for using their songs at his political rallies without their express consent. It now appears that the grand old men of rock and roll, namely vocalist Mick Jagger, guitarists Keith Richards and Ronnie Wood, and drummer Charlie Watts, are fed with Trump's misappropriation of their creative work and are taking legal action to prevent it happening again. Prior to this, high-profile music stars like Tom Petty and Panic! at the Disco's Brendon Urie had made it clear that they objected to the POTUS using their material at his rallies.
The Stones are currently disputing that their classic 1968 song 'You Can't Always Get What You Want' was used as Donald Trump's walk-off song during his recent campaign rallies, with the most recent example being in Tulsa, Oklahoma, last week. "Despite cease & desist directives to Donald Trump in the past, the Rolling Stones are taking further steps to exclude him using their songs at any of his future political campaigning," a spokesperson for the band said in a statement over the weekend. It is understood that the Rolling Stones' legal team is working with BMI, the performing rights organization, to resolve the issue.
The statement also revealed, "The BMI have notified the Trump campaign on behalf of the Stones that the unauthorized use of their songs will constitute a breach of its licensing agreement. If Donald Trump disregards the exclusion and persists then he would face a lawsuit for breaking the embargo and playing music that has not been licensed." The Trump campaign has so far declined to comment on the issue, but it seems they aren't doing anything illegal. BMI had previously told CNN that the Trump campaign does have a "political entities license," which technically authorizes them to use more than 15 million musical works available in BMI's catalog at their campaign events.
However, it seems that there is a further catch, because the artistes themselves can pull the plug on their own song if they are unhappy with how it's being used. And that's exactly what's happened here. "There is a provision, however, that allows BMI to exclude musical works from the license if a songwriter or publisher objects to its use by a campaign," BMI stated. "BMI has received such an objection and sent a letter notifying the Trump campaign that the Rolling Stones' works have been removed from the campaign license, and advising the campaign that any future use of these musical compositions will be in breach of its license agreement with BMI."
It remains to be seen if Trump's campaign will continue to flout the Rolling Stones' express wishes, now that the licensing agreement has been revoked. We'll just have to wait and see if the Stones are successful in their pursuit.