Music stars including Lorde, Sia and Mick Jagger have signed an open letter demanding politicians gain clearance to their music before using songs in campaign advertising or events.
The letter, produced in partnership with the Artist Rights Alliance, urges political parties to “establish clear policies requiring campaigns to seek consent” from any artists they hope to feature.
“This is the only way to effectively protect your candidates from legal risk, unnecessary public controversy, and the moral quagmire that comes from falsely claiming or implying an artist’s support or distorting an artists’ expression in such a high stakes public way,” the letter reads.
Using a song without going through the correct channels is called “dishonest and immoral” and publicised use “can compromise an artist’s personal values while disappointing and alienating fans – with great moral and economic cost”.
The letter also warns that improper use can “inevitably draw even the most reluctant or apolitical artists off the sidelines, compelling them to explain the ways they disagree with candidates wrongfully using their music”.
While it’s stated that this isn’t a partisan issue, its arrival comes after many artists have expressed outrage over their music being used by Donald Trump and his team. Stars including Pharrell Williams, Elton John and Bruce Springsteen have all made their displeasure known while most recently Neil Young has said he is reconsidering legal action after Rockin’ in the Free World continues to be played at rallies.
Other signatories of the letter include Sia, Alanis Morissette, Lionel Richie, Elvis Costello, Regina Spektor, Sheryl Crow and Steven Tyler. It calls for a request for a plan on how to deal with the issue in future by 10 August.