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LA Times: The Legal Issues & Opinions Re Queen's "We Are The Champions" Usage By The GOP #AdamLambert

Filed Under () by glitzylady on Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Posted at : Tuesday, July 19, 2016

And another article re the usage of Queen's iconic song "We Are The Champions" by the Republican National Convention/GOP, this time discussing the legal issues, the interpretation of who can legally play the song (or any copyrighted song/music) when the artist or artists do not wish it to be used, in this case for political events.

It's complicated... see the article linked below:

Roger Taylor, Adam Lambert, and Dr. Brian May of Queen + Adam Lambert 

From The LA Times: Queen doesn't want the GOP to use 'We Are the Champions,' but is the law on their side?

Intro: "British rock band Queen has blasted the GOP and presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump for using the group’s 1977 rock anthem “We Are the Champions” at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, charging that neither Trump nor the party is authorized to use the song."

Statement from Queen: “An unauthorised use at the Republican Convention against our wishes — Queen,”

From the song's publisher: "Sony/ATV Music Publishing has never been asked by Mr. Trump, the Trump campaign or the Trump Organization for permission to use 'We are the Champions' by Queen. “On behalf of the band, we are frustrated by the repeated unauthorized use of the song after a previous request to desist, which has obviously been ignored by Mr. Trump and his campaign.”

From Adam Lambert: "Additionally, singer Adam Lambert, who has been performing with Queen in recent years in the place of original lead singer Freddie Mercury, who died of AIDS complications in 1991, posted a photo of Mercury with the statement: “If your political party spends decades treating gay people as second-class citizens, guess what: You don’t get to use Freddie Mercury’s music at your convention.”

The article goes on to give examples of high profile artists who have requested that politicians not use their music: Bruce Springsteen, Jackson Browne, David Byrne of Talking Heads, Neil Young, Eminem, Sting, Don Henley, Journey, John Mellencamp, Heart, Bobby McFerrin, Isaac Hayes, Boston, the Foo Fighters, Van Halen, Bon Jovi and ABBA.

There is discussion of how these situations were handled and settled in the past.

Opinions are also given by lawyers & experts in the field of music & copyright law. Laws are interpreted, based on certain criteria and instances. Interesting read..

Other "We Are The Champions" related articles posted earlier here on Adam Lambert 24/7 News:

LINK: Adam Lambert RT'd @THR: "Trump again risked wrath of @QueenWillRock after playing #WeAreTheChampions.."

LINK: Adam Lambert Posted Photo In Response To RNC's Use Of "We Are The Champions" #truth #queen #freddiemercury

LINK: Adam Lambert Retweeted @QueenWillRock: "An unauthorised use at the Republican Convention against our wishes - Queen"

LINK: ABC News: GOP Under Pressure From Queen: Stop Using Its 'Champions' Anthem (Adam Lambert Mention)

Posted by @glitzylady for ADAM LAMBERT 24/7 NEWS


Dee R Gee said...

So, apparently there is a kind of "blanket" approval that is given to people who want to use a song as a result of the artists signing on to ASCAP or something? So, artists can't legally force politicians, etc. to stop using a song? I'm still a little confused, but it sounds like artists can tell someone to stop using their song, and the person can choose to stop using it if they want to but not because they legally have to. This is still pretty confusing to me.

glitzylady said...

It IS confusing.. In the linked LA Times article it does discuss the legal precedents that have come before, over the years.. It remains to be seen just how this will be handled in THIS particular case..

It does sound as though the artist can come to an agreement re the use of the song.. It's been done countless times before.. Particularly in the case of using the song for political purposes.. Usually the politician will respect the artist's wishes eventually. .

Anonymous said...

On a much happier note, I saw the musical "We Will Rock You" today & it was absolutely FABULOUS!!! Brilliant music (OF COURSE!) & lots of laughs (Ben Elton's humour is a hoot!) & at the very end, as an encore, a sign comes up asking the audience if they want to hear "Bohemian Rhapsody" so naturally, everyone screamed YES!!! And the whole song was sung by the main characters & all the cast joined in for the part which is normally the hologram video when performing the song. I'm seeing the show again in August, & I highly recommended it to anyone who's interested. :-)))

Anonymous said...

On Twitter ..........

Mike Ferguson ‏@workinferg

Trump denies using We Are the Champions, says it is a brand new tune Melania wrote Saturday. #RNCinCLE #RNCRockAnthems

Dee R Gee said...

fluttsp, Haha! That is hilarious!!
BTW, our morning radio guy here in Chicago just read a list of bands/singers who have asked politicians to stop using their music. The list went back at least twenty years. Every politician who was asked to cease and desist was a Republican. I assume that Democratic candidates might not face the same resistance since artists, singers, actors, etc.(not ALL, of course)tend to be more liberal. Just an observation.