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Musikreport

Mick Jagger, R.E.M. und Co wollen sich nicht mehr von Politikern instrumentalisieren lassen!

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In einem offenen Brief machten mehr als 50 namhafte Künstler ihrem Ärger über die unerlaubte Nutzung ihrer Musik Luft.

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Die Rolling Stones machten erst kürzlich Schlagzeilen mit ihrer öffentlichen Drohung, rechtliche Schritte gegen den US-Präsidenten Donald Trump einzuleiten. Dieser hatte die Musik der Stones wiederholt für seine Wahlkampfauftritte genutzt - und zwar gegen der Willen der Band. Zusammen mit mehr als 50 weiteren namhaften Musikerkollegen sah Frontmann Mick Jagger sich nun darüber hinaus auch zu einem offenen Brief an US-Politiker gezwungen. Darin fordern sie diese dazu auf, die jeweiligen Künstler im Vorfeld um Erlaubnis für eine Nutzung der Songs zu bitten.

Den von der “Artist Right Alliance” verfassten Brief unterschrieben neben Mick Jagger und seinem Bandkollegen Keith Richards unter anderem große Namen wie R.E.M., Aerosmith, Green Day oder auch Linkin Park. Den Acts geht es insbesondere um die Tatsache, dass sie gegen ihren Willen oft zum Teil von politischen Agenden würden:

Wir haben erlebt, wie so viele Künstler gegen ihren Willen in die Politik gezerrt und zu aggressiven Maßnahmen gezwungen wurden, um die Nutzung ihrer Musik zu verbieten – in der Regel Lieder, die während politischer Kundgebungen ausgestrahlt oder in Wahlkampfwerbung verwendet werden. Das kann Fans verwirren und enttäuschen und dadurch sogar das langfristige Einkommen eines Künstlers untergraben.

Die Musiker fordern bis zum 10. August eine Reaktion aus der Politik - mit konkreten Plänen, wie sie die Neuerungen umsetzen wollen. Das vollständige Statement der “Artist Right Alliance” findet ihr hier:

Dear Campaign Committees:

As artists, activists, and citizens, we ask you to pledge that all candidates you support will seek consent from featured recording artists and songwriters before using their music in campaign and political settings. This is the only way to effectively protect your candidates from legal risk, unnecessary public controversy, and the moral quagmire that comes from falsely claiming or implying an artist’s support or distorting an artists’ expression in such a high stakes public way.

This is not a new problem. Or a partisan one. Every election cycle brings stories of artists and songwriters frustrated to find their work being used in settings that suggest endorsement or support of political candidates without their permission or consent. Being dragged unwillingly into politics in this way can compromise an artist’s personal values while disappointing and alienating fans – with great moral and economic cost. For artists that do choose to engage politically in campaigns or other contexts, this kind of unauthorized public use confuses their message and undermines their effectiveness. Music tells powerful stories and drives emotional connection and engagement – that’s why campaigns use it, after all! But doing so without permission siphons away that value.

The legal risks are clear. Campaign uses of music can violate federal and (in some cases) state copyrights in both sound recordings and musical compositions. Depending on the technology used to copy and broadcast these works, multiple exclusive copyrights, including both performance and reproduction, could be infringed. In addition, these uses impact creators’ rights of publicity and branding, potentially creating exposure for trademark infringement, dilution, or tarnishment under the Lanham Act and giving rise to claims for false endorsement, conversion, and other common law and statutory torts. When campaign commercials or advertisements are involved, a whole additional host of rules and regulations regarding campaign fundraising (including undisclosed and potentially unlawful “in-kind” contributions), finance, and communications could also potentially be breached.

More importantly, falsely implying support or endorsement from an artist or songwriter is dishonest and immoral. It undermines the campaign process, confuses the voting public, and ultimately distorts elections. It should be anathema to any honest candidate to play off this kind of uncertainty or falsely leave the impression of an artist’s or songwriter’s support.
Like all other citizens, artists have the fundamental right to control their work and make free choices regarding their political expression and participation. Using their work for political purposes without their consent fundamentally breaches those rights – an invasion of the most hallowed, even sacred personal interests.

No politician benefits from forcing a popular artist to publicly disown and reject them. Yet these unnecessary controversies inevitably draw even the most reluctant or apolitical artists off the sidelines, compelling them to explain the ways they disagree with candidates wrongfully using their music. And on social media and in the culture at large, it’s the politicians that typically end up on the wrong side of those stories.

For all these reasons, we urge you to establish clear policies requiring campaigns supported by your committees to seek the consent of featured recording artists, songwriters, and copyright owners before publicly using their music in a political or campaign setting. Funding, logistical support, and participation in committee programs, operations, and events should be contingent on this pledge, and its terms should be clearly stated in writing in your bylaws, operating guidelines, campaign manuals, or where you establish any other relevant rules, requirements, or conditions of support.

Please let us know by August 10th how you plan to accomplish these changes.

Sincerely,

Aerosmith
Alanis Morissette
Amanda Shires
Ancient Future
Andrew McMahon
Artist Rights Alliance
B-52s
Beth Nielsen Chapman
Blondie
Butch Walker
CAKE
Callie Khouri
Courtney Love
Cyndi Lauper
Dan Navarro
Daniel Martin Moore
Duke Fakir
Elizabeth Cook
Elton John
Elvis Costello
Erin McKeown
Fall Out Boy
Grant-Lee Phillips
Green Day
Gretchen Peters
Ivan Barias
Jason Isbell
Jewel
Joe Perry
John McCrea
John Mellencamp
Keith Richards
Kurt Cobain estate
Lera Lynn
Lionel Richie
Linkin Park
Lorde
Lykke Li
Maggie Vail
Mary Gauthier
Matt Nathanson
Matthew Montfort
Michelle Branch
Mick Jagger
Okkervil River
Pearl Jam
Panic! At The Disco
Patrick Carney
R.E.M.
Regina Spektor
Rosanne Cash
Sheryl Crow
Sia
Steven Tyler
T Bone Burnett
Tift Merritt
Thomas Manzi
Train

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