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Can A Politician Use My Song In Their Campaign

With our impending elections, it is a great time to consider whether one of our politicians is allowed to use any artist’s song to rally the crowd. What copyright protection does an artist have against your works becoming the battle-cry anthem for a Poli?

Flash to Donald Trump and “Eye of the Tiger” at present. Were you aware that Steven Tyler, Adele and Neil Young (to name a few) all respectfully asked Mr. Trump to cease using their songs? It has been assured that the Trump Team did have all of the licenses through the venues under their blanket music license,so my copyright infringement issues to date.

But what are the copyright rules here in Australia? A blanket music license, such as one sought from APRA AMCOS could be sufficient to allow the song to be bellowed from the speakers at an event. So then there is the question of Moral Rights. Under the Copyright Act, an artist right of integrity authorship allows their “right not to have the work subjected to derogatory treatment” which may eventuate due the “exhibition in public of the work that is prejudicial to the author’s honour or reputation because of the manner or place in which the exhibition occurs” (Section 195AK).

Further, does the use of the song by a Politician then infer that the artist is endorsing the Politician and Political Party? If not, then does this cause misleading and deceptive conduct under Section 18 of the ACL Australian Consumer Law?

It will be interesting to see which songs are selected by our Poli’s as they start the long sprint to the voting day. Will they get it right – the song, the license and the polite and private permission from the artistic authors?

Untapped Agency is a Licensing Agent for Brand Owners, Licensees, Manufacturers and Retailers. We extend iconic brands, copyright, music, designs and trademarks into innovative, new consumer products, services and promotions.