Why Trump Is Laughing at the Rolling Stones’ Legal Threats

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The Rolling Stones are issuing legal threats to Trump to stop playing their music at his campaigns.

The legendary Rolling Stones have asked Donald Trump to stop playing their music throughout his presidential campaign, according to a report by TIME.  Trump, a music enthusiast, has played several of the band’s songs, including “You Can’t Always Get What You Want,” “Sympathy for the Devil” and “Brown Sugar.”

Yesterday, (May 4th) a spokesperson for The Rolling Stones released a statement, which reads…

“The Rolling Stones have never given permission to the Trump campaign to use their songs and have requested that they cease all use immediately.”

Though it is not a requirement for permission to be obtained by artists to play their songs at political campaigns, it is essential for the venue or political organization to have a license from PROs ASCAP, BMI, SESAC, or GMR.  And for that reason (and unfortunately for the Stones), Trump can easily ignore the legal threat, or even worse, make the band look stupid with it.

That was the case with Aerosmith, who had a similar beef with Trump back in October.  Others are also having similar issues: Survivor recently protested the use of ‘Eye of the Tiger’ at an anti-gay marriage rally with little result, for example.

There are obvious reasons as to why The Rolling Stones do not want their music associated with the controversial politician, who has been dubbed as a racist and sexist, amongst many other things.  But the only way the Stones can effectively remove their music from Trump’s rally is if Trump himself decides to do it.

(Image of Donald Trump speaking at CPAC 2015 in Washington, DC, taken by Gage Skidmore and licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported (CC BY-SA 3.0)

8 Responses

  1. Stephen Aristei

    Isn’t it fascinating how people and artists who profess to be “professionals” in a business that they have participated in for well over 20 and 30 years, don’t know the laws that protect and at the same time provide revenues for them via their music and songs!? Why do they continue to behave like idiots, and why would they continue to possibly bite the hands that may later feed them? It really makes one wonder?

    • daver

      I’m sure they know the law. They are entitled to express their opinion, in this case letting the entire world know their dislike of Trump. Also, they show Trump’s lack of common courtesy; all Trump has to do is use another song.

  2. Rick Shaw

    Let’s hire this guy to be leader of our country. Anyone who ignores laws and does what he wants will surely lead us swiftly into the future.

  3. Me2

    But the point is that, like it or not, Trump is acting within the law so long as the rallies are held in PRO licenced venues. What’s so hard to get about that?

  4. Tim Wood

    Me2: The article does not make it clear that Trump’s campaign has licensed through the PROs. Campaigns seem to get caught short frequently; I’d expect no less of Trump’s.

    • Me2

      True, it only covers licensed venues, not use on websites or in ads.

      Nothing really wrong for an artist to publicly denounce any impled endorsement, or even ask that the campaign stop using the material in the venue.. but that’s just asking.

      There’s no legal basis to force them to cease, unless perpaps in an extreme case from a moral rights angle, even them I’m not sure.

    • Me2

      If the campaign wanted to use the music outside of a licensed venue (which they very well might be doing) they would need to get permission.

  5. AllDownThe Line

    I’m sure the Stones and their people know the law, but by at least making their position known publicly their fans know that they in no way endorse The Donald. I’m sure there will be no further recourse on their part, but they’ve got the word out.