entertainment

Neil Young sues Trump campaign, deriding use of famous tunes

42 Comments
By LARRY NEUMEISTER

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42 Comments
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I've seen the huckster and the damage done...

16 ( +18 / -2 )

These folks need to check with their legal advisors about whether and how they have signed away the rights to their music in exchange for royalties. That is the key point here. Nothing to do with personal feelings or politics. A simple case of intellectual property rights. Singers sign away their rights in exchange for money. It seems petty and childish to now try to go back on those decisions.

-5 ( +14 / -19 )

These folks need to check with their legal advisors about whether and how they have signed away the rights to their music in exchange for royalties. 

Neil Young holds the copyright for his music. So your point is moot.

19 ( +24 / -5 )

It seems petty and childish to now try to go back on those decisions.

It seems to me a great way to publicize the fact that you object to a megalomaniac narcissist greed bag destroying your country assisted by idiots who cannot even comprehend the actual meaning of your lyrics.

The publicity works even if the court cases fail.

8 ( +20 / -12 )

If that is true about Neil, good for him. It is rare among artists and singers to maintain control over how their product is used. Let it play out in the courts, and if he wins he deserves every penny he gets.

The others? We'll see.

9 ( +13 / -4 )

The discussion above is actually an over simplification of the legal situation. Young holds the copyright to his work, but he has also licensed it to the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP), which in turn licenses it out to various parties who want to use it.

Political campaigns often obtain a license to use music from ASCAP (in fact they need one if they are going to play any music at their events, otherwise they are infringing on the copyright). The contract between artists like Young and ASCAP though usually contains a clause that allows the artist to prevent their work from being used in a political context if they raise an objection (which Young and others have done with respect to the Trump campaign).

I think the issue here though is that the Trump campaign has tried to dodge this by simply not getting the licenses directly. Instead they have had the music played at venues (like arenas) which have obtained general licenses to play it completely unrelated to the campaign (ie they would normally just be played at sporting events, etc).

This is a bit shady, but might be legal from the copyright licensing perspective. However, separate from the Copyright the artists (and everyone) also have a legally enforceable publicity right which basically prevents anyone from using their image or work to create the false impression of an endorsement. This is normally used to prevent commercial use but could definitely apply to political campaigns as well. The article doesn't mention it but this is probably one of the main legal grounds for Young's lawsuit.

15 ( +16 / -1 )

Nobody cares about Neil Young;

Southern Man Don’t Need Him Around, Anyhow.

-19 ( +5 / -24 )

Give him hell, Neil! Let's impeach the president. Keep on rockin' in the free world because Treasontrump is trying to make it not free. Whip him! Whip him good!

And I hope Mick, Sheryl, Village People, the estates of Petty and Prince punch that loqucious loudmouth legally - HARD!

12 ( +15 / -3 )

People keep trying to imply that the artists concerned don’t have a legal leg to stand on. They do.

https://www.ascap.com/~/media/files/pdf/advocacy-legislation/political_campaign.pdf

10 ( +10 / -0 )

Neil Young holds the copyright for his music. So your point is moot.

Not really. Though he may own the copyright, he has signed an agreement with ASCAP to manage his copyrights and license his songs. The terms of that agreement are the relevant factor here. Most likely, he can sue and will probably end up with an agreement that the campaign not use his music. I doubt he will collect any money if the Trump campaign followed the licensing procedures.

-7 ( +4 / -11 )

With all the lawsuits piling up on Trump and his family I am surprised they have any money left after paying up all the lawyer fees.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

These folks need to check with their legal advisors about whether and how they have signed away the rights to their music in exchange for royalties.

That’s an excellent point and it doesn’t matter if he owns the rights or not, but as you said if he signed a waiver right then basically he can’t say anything.

That is the key point here. Nothing to do with personal feelings or politics. A simple case of intellectual property rights. Singers sign away their rights in exchange for money. It seems petty and childish to now try to go back on those decisions.

Bingo! Spot on. Good luck with that lawsuit.

-8 ( +4 / -12 )

Give him hell, Neil! Let's impeach the president.

What? You are joking....

Keep on rockin' in the free world because Treasontrump is trying to make it not free. Whip him! Whip him good! 

And I hope Mick, Sheryl, Village People, the estates of Petty and Prince punch that loqucious loudmouth legally - HARD!

Yup, that makes a whole lot of sense.....smh....

-8 ( +5 / -13 )

Reagan's campaign was using "Born In the USA" from The Boss without approval. It was clear nobody in the campaign had ever listened to the lyrics. It is about a lack of jobs, a bad economy, being drafted and sent to Vietnam. Plus, Springsteen's political leanings have never been Conservative. It was a bad fit.

Trump's campaign needs to be sued for defamation in addition to copyright violations. Be there are thousands of lawyers who would take the case for free. Looks like Neil is a dual citizen - CA and US.

Would be funny if all labels and artists specifically refused to allow Trump to use any of their music world-wide. He'd play Mus-Ack?

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Good, sue that clown !!..

4 ( +9 / -5 )

Would be funny if all labels and artists specifically refused to allow Trump to use any of their music world-wide. He'd play Mus-Ack?

I'm sure Pat and Debbie Boone, Terrible Ted Nugent and Kid CRock would allow him to use their songs. They love him.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

rainydayAug. 5  12:42 pm JST The discussion above is actually an over simplification of the legal situation. Young holds the copyright to his work, but he has also licensed it to the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP), which in turn licenses it out to various parties who want to use it.

This depends. ASCAP is just a clearinghouse convenience for artists. You can have it set up so that the copyright owner still has a say over who will be permitted to use the song.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Its not Trump whom they are suing, but the organizers of his event... bad management. Happens all over the place, though when it comes to Politics it's highly charged as the US is, and always has been, very Polarized.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Infact.. (as this under the "Entertainment" category), I wish we could sue the US for causing us all Globally so much stress over their own Legal system which is Media trial before Jury based and therefore defeats any proper impartial and unbiased considerations from Jurors.

Furthermore, Since the CCP owns much of the US Media... the CCP is in effective control of the US Judiciary!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Hilarious! Neil Not-So-Young sold out for the money & moved to the US to get more. Then he trashed Albertan’s for wanting to turn oil-sands deposits into money for the Province & oil for eastern Canadians.

Another phoney hard-core liberal gets revealed for all to avoid. Young plays the game but when he doesn’t like the lawful & paid-for use of his old drivel, he balks, whines & complains. His liberal tribes never return the royalties though.

As he fades into music obscurity, publicity stunts are the only way to keep his name alive. T45 will crush him, & that other guy who overdosed, in court. T45 wins again!

-7 ( +3 / -10 )

The Trump campaigners could just change some of the lyrics, like "The Donald and the Damage Done". There, fixed it!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

How can anyone be so lacking in critical thinking skills that they still support Trump?

5 ( +8 / -3 )

So many anti-American yanks here. Hating on Neil Young who has done more for American culture than McDonald’s or coke could ever do (for they are the two most recognisable examples of American culture!!)

This is also just another of too many examples to list of the tone-deafness of political parties. They hear the chorus to ‘Born in the USA’ and it has USA in it, so they steal it and play it. Regardless of the actual content and lyrical point. They hear free world in Neil’s song and that’s all they hear.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Even a "divisive un-American campaign of ignorance and hate" appreciates good music, if not the sentiments behind it.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Hating on Neil Young who has done more for American culture than McDonald’s or coke could ever do

Neil Young has done very little for American culture, to be fair. A few good songs in the '70s and none of them were cultural touchstones. Don McLean was more important in the '70s than Young was.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Neil Young's musical legacy will endure, long after he and the criminal in the White House have gone.

T45 will crush him, & that other guy who overdosed, in court. T45 wins again!

The language of violence and hatred, as brought to you by the sick cult.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

What doesn't Trump steal?

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Hearts.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Neil Young is quite right to do this.

You don’t know? Read the manual, read the books!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I’ve heard from a lot of people, a lot of people tell me how great this Neil’s music is.

I had a phone call from someone, a beautiful phone call really, and this guy was crying, tears in his eyes, thanking me for all I’ve done for the Neils. Neil Young, Neil Sedaka, Neil Down.

They were nothing before I started playing them really, actually many people, many people tell me that he should be paying me. He was dead in the water, just a dog really and now look at him, back in the news with great ratings, just great ratings.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

“Plaintiff in good conscience cannot allow his music to be used as a ‘theme song' for a divisive, un-American campaign of ignorance and hate."

Pfffft! That description is a lot closer to the Biden campaign than the Trump campaign.

The Trump campaign is a positive, patriotic campaign of hope for a great future and prosperity for all.

No thank you to socialism/communism, economic decline and a New World Order run by China which is what we'll have if Biden and the people controlling him take power.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

What doesn't Trump steal? Hearts.

Au contraire! He's stolen the hearts of millions of Americans and people around the world.

He doesn't steal liberal hearts because liberals don't have hearts.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Makes sense, Conservatives don’t have brains.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I'm sure Pat and Debbie Boone, Terrible Ted Nugent and Kid CRock would allow him to use their songs. They love him

He could, so what’s the problem? There are probably more, he just needs to shop around and the ones that want to play partisan childish politics then they don’t, no lost, might be actually better for him in the long run.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

@serrano

Don't know if you mean to be but you're hilarious. You've won my heart.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

In trump-world, laws, the constitution, civil rights, Do Not Exist.

In trump-world, I am the law.

In trump-land, it is all about me.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

@serrano

Don't know if you mean to be but you're hilarious. You've won my heart.

Glad to hear it. :D

By the way, our "crazy" Electoral College system saved us from a Hillary Clinton presidency.

In trump-world, laws, the constitution, civil rights, Do Not Exist.

In trump-world, I am the law.

In trump-land, it is all about me.

In Democrat-world, laws, the Constitution, civil rights do not exist.

In Democrat-world, do as I say, not as I do.

In Democrat-world, it is all about me.

Fixed it for ya!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

As he fades into music obscurity, publicity stunts are the only way to keep his name alive.

Er, okay.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I've seen the huckster and the damage done...

Har!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Au contraire! He's stolen the hearts of millions of Americans and people around the world.

He's stolen the lives of 160 thousand Americans and by pulling out of the Paris Agreement, he's jeopardizing future generations. And his support for the terror cult NRA is endangering more young lives.

Don't blame Neily Young for not wanting to be associated with this son of a bitch.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

He's stolen the lives of 160 thousand Americans

That would be the CCP.

and by pulling out of the Paris Agreement, he's jeopardizing future generations. 

No, that agreement sucks bigly. Penalizes America whilst giving China and other countries a free pass.

 And his support for the terror cult NRA is endangering more young lives.

You can thank the Democrats for the sharp rise in violence in our Democrat-run cities and the resulting sharp rise in gun and ammo sales and NRA membership.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

That would be the CCP.

I wasn't aware that the CCP are the government of the US.

Yes, Beijing handled the intial outbreak appallingly but when the virus went stateside, Trump downplayed it and promised it was going to "disappear". He peddled misinformation and false cures and sided with conspiracy theorists.

He has blood on his tiny little hands. Neil Young isn't the only one who should be suing. All the families of those lost should be suing as well.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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