Mick Jagger, Lionel Ritchie, Elton John and more ask politicians to stop featuring their music at rallies without consent
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Mick Jagger, Lionel Richie, Elton John, Sia and other renowned artists have signed onto an open letter calling on politicians to stop playing their music at campaign or political events without their consent.

The letter dated Tuesday was addressed to a number of political organizations, including the Republican National Committee and Democratic National Committee, and was the result of collaborative efforts with the Artist Rights Alliance, a nonprofit aimed at “fighting for songwriters and musicians in the modern music economy.”

The letter urges the committees to “establish clear policies requiring campaigns” backed by their organizations to “seek the consent of featured recording artists, songwriters, and copyright owners before publicly using their music in a political or campaign setting.” 

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It cites repeated instances in which political campaigns have been called out and even denounced by artists for playing their music in political settings without their permission, saying “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,” it states. 

“More importantly,” the letter adds, “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.”

President TrumpDonald John TrumpAppeals court OKs White House diverting military funding to border wall construction Pentagon: Tentative meeting between spy agencies, Biden transition set for early next week Conservative policy director calls Section 230 repeal an 'existential threat' for tech MORE’s campaign in particular has found itself the subject of musicians' ire in recent years, with artists including The Rolling Stones, who signed onto the letter, and Neil Young calling out Trump's team over the use of their music at rallies.

Earlier this week, Young said he was considering suing Trump over the matter. The Stones also threatened legal action last month.

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The letter sent out Tuesday also laid out the “legal risks” of unauthorized use of artists’ music in political setting.

“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,” it says.

The letter concludes by giving the addressed committees an Aug. 10 deadline to respond with how they plan to achieve the requested changes. 

Signees to the letter also include Aerosmith, Cyndi Lauper, Fall Out Boy, Alanis Morissette, Blondie, Courtney Love, Green Day, Regina Spektor, Sheryl Crow, Steven Tyler, Train, Linkin Park, Lorde and Panic! At The Disco.