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R.E.M. not overly complimentary about song use at political event

Well, we must now be decidedly in the early innings of a presidential campaign that is destined to heat up and persist with ever-increasing fervor for nearly the next 14 months.

The evidence of that: well-known rock music being blared out at various candidates' rallies. Inevitably, when politicians start living behind the podium as they seek the presidency, dusted-off tunes from bygone years that seemingly -- and literally -- strike a chord of political relevance begin booming out at their forums and galas.

Although political outcomes are often quite iffy and unpredictable, one outcome has emerged as quite commonplace regarding the views of rock stars toward the use of their music by politicians: they often don't like it and object strenuously to their creations being used for political purposes in a manner they never endorsed.

As we noted in a previous blog post, Bruce Springsteen recoiled at the use of his hit song Born in the USA at rallies held by former President Reagan. We also noted in our June 17 entry that Neil Young was highly displeased earlier this year when one of his songs began featuring at political rallies being held by presidential candidate Donald Trump.

The hall-of-fame rockers R.E.M. can now be added to the list of livid pop stars excoriating the unauthorized use of their music, with their lead singer, Michael Stipe, recently demanding that the Trump campaign cease playing one of its tunes at rallies. The group states that the use of its music is unauthorized and illegal.

Young said the same thing, with our above-cited blog post discussing the use of his music spotlighting questions regarding the legality of using an artist's copyrighted material for political purposes without receiving the artist's prior permission, even if a user licensing agreement does exist.

Such considerations can get sticky and be marked by a great deal of complexity. An experienced business and entertainment law attorney can professionally speak to the subject matter and provide proven legal representation in any matter involving artistic creations and intellectual property rights.

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