Music artists like Mick Jagger, Elton John, Aerosmith, Sia and over 50 others signed a letter demanding that politicians stop using their music at political events and rallies without their consent.
“Being dragged unwillingly into politics in this way can compromise an artist’s personal values while disappointing and alienating fans,” the letter from the Artist Rights Alliance reads. “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.”
“This is not a new problem. Or a partisan one,” the letter continued. “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.”
“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,” they added.
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.
“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,” the singers declared.
I think that is kind of funny considering music is made for people to incorporate into their lives. Being told you can't use a song because the artist doesn't agree with your message is kind of dumb. Do they do the same for television ads and TikTok videos? Didn't think so.
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