Monday, August 30, 2010

'Cruel Summer' campaign video removed

The video from Congressional candidate Sean Mahoney (R-NH) that featured the Bananarama hit "Cruel Summer" has been removed from several web video sites, apparently by the campaign itself.

Jimmy Asci, a spokesman for music publisher Sony/ATV, which owns the composition to the 1983 single, confirmed that the Mahoney campaign had used the song without obtaining a license, and that the video was removed before a cease-and-desist letter was even issued. "It wasn't licensed," he said. "This happens all the time. 99.9% of the time, they take it down" upon receipt of a notice, according to Asci. "We don't really go any further than that."

It's notable that of the three recent copyright lawsuits involving campaigns of which I'm aware -- Jackson Browne v. John McCain, Don Henley v. Chuck DeVore, and David Byrne v. Charlie Crist -- all involved individual songwriters as plaintiffs, not publishers or record labels. Corporations simply want campaigns to knock off their unlicensed uses. Individual artists -- who often have strong political views of their own, and strong feelings about unwanted uses of their material -- tend to demand a pound of flesh.

1 comment:

  1. Good piece. I'd add that it's usually a liberal songwriter attacking a republican candidate.


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