images.thumbnail.jpgJohn McCain is at it again, misappropriating songs for use in his campaign, not requesting permission and keeping the music playing until he gets a cease and desist letter.

Can’t you hear the RNC party-planners whining right now: "But all the cool songs are done by liberals, and they won’t let us if we ask…"?

And now the GOP needs yet another hipness replacement because Foo Fighters are up in arms over the misuse of their song "My Hero."

The band issued the following statement:

This isn’t the first time the McCain campaign has used a song without making any attempt to get approval or permission from the artist. It’s frustrating and infuriating that someone who claims to speak for the American people would repeatedly show such little respect for creativity and intellectual property. The saddest thing about this is that ‘My Hero’ was written as a celebration of the common man and his extraordinary potential. To have it appropriated without our knowledge and used in a manner that perverts the original sentiment of the lyric just tarnishes the song. We hope that the McCain campaign will do the right thing and stop using our song–and start asking artists’ permission in general!

Here’s the deal though, according to Slate: Songs are registered with one of two performing rights organizations, Broadcast Music International  (BMI) or American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers, (ASCAP), which collect the performance royalties for artists. Locations like gyms, restaurants and clubs play a fee to  ASCAP and/or BMI for the right to play either live and/or recorded music.

If a campaign appearance is in a venue that holds a license from either BMI or ASCAP, anyone, even McCranky, can play a song registered with the performance rights organization without getting the artist’s explicit permission.

However, even if it’s legal, it’s still shows "little respect for creativity and intellectual property." I mean how would Junkyard Prophet feel about the DNC playing "Tear ‘Em Down" at a Democratic rally? Not that you should hold your breath on that one!

Lisa Derrick

Lisa Derrick

Los Angeles native, attended UC Berkeley and Loyola Marymount University before punk rock and logophilia overtook her life. Worked as nightclub columnist, pop culture journalist and was a Hollywood housewife before writing for and editing Sacred History Magazine. Then she discovered the thrill of politics. She also appears frequently on the Dave Fanning Show, one of Ireland's most popular radio broadcasts.

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