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Elton John, Mick Jagger and Lionel Richie sign open letter calling for ban on politicians using their music

'Being dragged unwillingly into politics in this way can compromise an artist’s personal values', the open letter states

Elton John, Mick Jagger and Lionel Richie are among a number of musicians to sign the open letter. 
Elton John, Mick Jagger and Lionel Richie are among a number of musicians to sign the open letter. 

Mick Jagger, Lionel Richie and Elton John are among a number of high-profile musicians to call for an end to politicians using their music without permission.

In an open letter shared on the Artist Rights Alliance website, the group of singers say that politicians who use songs on campaign trails and at rallies without prior authorisation could be in breach of copyright.

The move comes as politicians including Donald Trump have come under fire from musicians who do not wish to be associated with them.

“Being dragged unwillingly into politics in this way can compromise an artist’s personal values while disappointing and alienating fans – with great moral and economic cost,” reads the letter.

“For artists that do choose to engage politically in campaigns or other contexts, this kind of unauthorised public use confuses their message and undermines their effectiveness.

“Music tells powerful stories and drives emotional connection and engagement – that’s why campaigns use it, after all! But doing so without permission siphons away that value.”

Other artists to have signed the petition include Cyndi Lauper, Lorde, R E M, Linkin Park, Aerosmith, Sia, Blondie, Sheryl Crow, Green Day and Panic! At the Disco.

The letter calls for political parties to establish new policies to ensure all music used is done so with prior permission, setting a date of Monday, August 10, for a response, before further action is taken.

In June, both Linkin Park and The Rolling Stones issued statements to denounce Trump for the unauthorised use of their tracks in campaign videos. Both bands released statements making it clear they had no association with the US president, stating that the use of their music was in breach of its license.

The full list of artists who have signed the petition:

Aerosmith

Alanis Morissette

Amanda Shires

Ancient Future

Andrew McMahon

Artist Rights Alliance

B-52s

Beth Nielsen Chapman

Blondie

Butch Walker

Cake

Callie Khouri

Courtney Love

Cyndi Lauper

Dan Navarro

Daniel Martin Moore

Duke Fakir

Elizabeth Cook

Elton John

Elvis Costello

Erin McKeown

Fall Out Boy

Grant-Lee Phillips

Green Day

Gretchen Peters

Ivan Barias

Jason Isbell

Jewel

John McCrea

John Mellencamp

Keith Richards

Kurt Cobain estate

Lera Lynn

Lionel Richie

Linkin Park

Lorde

Lykke Li

Maggie Vail

Mary Gauthier

Matt Nathanson

Matthew Montfort

Michelle Branch

Mick Jagger

Okkervil River

Pearl Jam

Panic! At The Disco

Patrick Carney

R E M

Regina Spektor

Rosanne Cash

Sheryl Crow

Sia

T Bone Burnett

Tift Merritt

Thomas Manzi

Train

Updated: July 30, 2020 05:23 PM

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