The Rolling Stones are threatening to sue President Trump over his continued playing of the iconic 1960s British Invasion group’s music at his campaign rallies. The Stones made the threat in a follow-up to a demand by BMI, the performing rights organization, that the Trump campaign stop playing Stones songs.
The Stones’ late Sixties classic You Can’t Get What You Want has been the closing anthem at Trump’s rallies and White House events for years. Several other Rolling Stones songs are played over the campaign sound system during the hours before Trump takes the stage.
Statement by the Stones issued Saturday, reported by Deadline:
“This could be the last time President Donald Trump uses Stones songs. Despite cease & desist directives to Donald Trump in the past, the Rolling Stones are taking further steps to exclude him using their songs at any of his future political campaigning. The Stones’ legal team is working with BMI. BMI has notified the Trump campaign on behalf of the Stones that the unauthorized use of their songs will constitute a breach of its licensing agreement. If Donald Trump disregards the exclusion and persists, then he would face a lawsuit for breaking the embargo and playing music that has not been licensed.”
Deadline reported the Stones’ publishing company ABKCO was working with BMI and reported the contractual clause BMI is citing:
“BMI’s Music License for Political Entities or Organizations (read it here) states: “One or more works or catalogs of works by one or more BMI songwriters may be excluded from this license if notice is received by BMI that such songwriters object to the use of their copyrighted works for the intended uses by licensee. BMI shall provide written notice to licensee of any such exclusion” – which is whatBMI did this week.”
The Stone’s first objected to Trump’s use of their music in the 2016 campaign but did not force the issue until now.
The Stones’ 2020 spring and summer tour of the United States and Canada was postponed due to the COVID-19 Chinese coronavirus pandemic. The tour-ready band played a socially distanced acoustic version of You Can’t Get What You Want for the Global Citizen streamed concert on April 18.
The Deadline article lists several others musicians who have complained about the Trump campaign playing their music, including most recently the estate of the late rocker Tom Petty.
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