At the end of the GOP convention, I commented on Twitter that I bet Nancy and Ann Wilson of Heart didn’t give permission for the McCain campaign to use their song, “Barracuda.” I was, of course, right. They never obtained legal permission to use the song.
Heart’s representative issued a statement:
The Republican campaign did not ask for permission to use the song, nor would they have been granted that permission. We have asked the Republican campaign publicly not to use our music. We hope our wishes will be honored.
Doing a tiny bit of research I found McCain released his technology policy, in which he promised to “protect the creative industries from piracy.” Whoops.
ThinkProgress has a linked breakdown of McCain’s infringment on artists’ copyrights:
– In August, singer Jackson Browne sued the McCain campaign and the Ohio Republican Party for copyright infringement because his song “Running on Empty” was used in an ad by the state party. Browne’s lawyers said that “McCain and his campaign were well aware of” this fact.
– In August, the McCain campaign re-cut a web ad after comedian Mike Myers’s publicist complained about the use of footage of Myers and fellow Saturday Night Live alum Dana Carvey’s “Wayne’s World” characters.
– In July, the McCain campaign had to pull and re-cut a web ad after Frankie Valli’s record label, the Warner Music Group, asserted its copyright claims over the use of the song “Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You.”
– Earlier this year, the copyright owners for the “Rocky” theme song “telephoned the McCain campaign to politely complain it was being used without permission.”
If I was the copyright holder, I would bypass the cease and desist letter and just send them a royalties bill for thousands or millions of dollars depending, payable within 30 days of airing for each instance in every market. When they didn’t pay, I’d sue for unpaid royalities and damages to the tune of multi-million. And I’d win.