The Rolling Stones and Pearl Jam on the use of their songs in political campaigns or events

The Rolling Stones, Pearl Jam and many more artists, published an open letter directed to American politicians of all parties asking to create policies to prevent the use of songs in political conventions or campaigns without asking for permission first.

Photo: Henry Ruggeri

The use of The Rolling Stones, Neil Young and R.E.M. songs during Donald Trump’s electoral campaign has been very controversial. Mick Jagger and Keith Richard’s band asked several times the American president to stop using their music. Neil Young revealed he was thinking about suing Trump for the same reasons.

All these protests led to nothing because at the moment there is no law that forbids the use of a song in a public contest if the author is against it.

Things may change in the future. Several artists like The Rolling Stones, Pearl Jam, Aerosmith, R.E.M. and Elvis Costello together with the Artists Rights Coalition, wrote an open letter to the most important parties of USA asking to enact a law to keep control of the use of songs in political settings.

As artists, activists, and citizens, we ask you to pledge that all candidates you support will seek consent from featured recording artists and songwriters before using their music in campaign and political settings.” The letter goes on: ”This is the only way to effectively protect your candidates from legal risk [and] unnecessary public controversy.”