Rolling Stones threaten to sue Trump campaign
“You Can’t Always Get What You Want” by the Rolling Stones has become a staple at Trump campaign rallies, but now the group is threatening to sue the campaign. The Rolling Stones released a statement on Saturday addressing the matter.
“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.”
The song became popular with Trump supporters when the president had it played after his 2016 acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention. It’s become his walk-off song at most political rallies including his recent event in Tulsa, OK.
BMI is a major performing rights organization that is taking on the Trump campaign on behalf of Mick Jagger and Keith Richards.
“The Trump campaign has a Political Entities License which authorizes the public performance of more than 15 million musical works in BMI’s repertoire wherever campaign events occur,” a BMI spokesperson said. “There is a provision, however, that allows BMI to exclude musical works from the license if a songwriter or publisher objects to its use by a campaign. BMI has received such an objection and sent a letter notifying the Trump campaign that the Rolling Stones’ works have been removed from the campaign license, and advising the campaign that any future use of these musical compositions will be in breach of its license agreement with BMI.”
Numerous other musicians have taken issue with their songs being played at Trump’s campaign rallies over the last four years, including Neil Young, Queen, Pharrell Williams and the estate of Tom Petty.
Recently, Petty’s family posted a statement on the late singer’s Twitter account saying Petty would never want a song of his used for a campaign of hate.
The Democratic Coalition, a far-left group that prides itself on resistance and claims to fight foreign influence, praised the Rolling Stones for their stance.
“Nobody wants their music associated with the hate and racism of @realDonaldTrump and his campaign. Bravo, @RollingStones! #RacistInChief,” the group tweeted.
The Trump campaign maintains that it has the right to play the songs in question because the venues it uses have a different license agreement than the campaign. Venues often have a performance rights organization blanket license in place that allow politicians to get away with playing songs they’ve been asked not to play.
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