Artists Rights Alliance urge politicians to stop unauthorized use of music

Group ranges from new artists to established superstars

The Artist Rights Alliance (ARA), an artist-run, non-profit fighting for songwriters and musicians in the modern music economy, has joined forces with a broad coalition ranging from established superstars to gig performers and working songwriters demanding the major US national political party committees “establish clear policies requiring campaigns to seek consent of featured recording artists, songwriters, and copyright owners before publicly using their music in a political or campaign setting” and condition party committees’ financial support of campaigns on adherence to those policies.

In a letter addressed to the Democratic and Republican National, Congressional, and Senatorial committees, the group highlights the obligation of political campaigns to seek and receive permission to use music as part of campaign ads and rallies, and the fundamental right of music creators to decide who can use their music and on what terms. The letter underscores that failing to meet those obligations and respect those rights is an ethical lapse that compromises artistic integrity, falsely implies support, and risks serious legal consequences.

“We’ve seen so many artists and estates dragged into politics against their will and forced to take aggressive action to prohibit the use of their music – usually songs that are broadcast during political rallies or used in campaign ads,” the coalition explains of the issue. “It can confuse and disappoint fans and even undermine an artists’ long-term income – and mostly, it’s just not right. Politicians that want to represent the public trust must do better – by seeking consent before exploiting an artist’s or songwriter’s image and work.

“Many of these artists have spent a lifetime making music that we all know and love. At the very least, it should be their choice – especially in these hyper-partisan times. With so many creators raising concerns about this issue, it is time to take action and ensure our voices are heard.”

The group ranges from new artists to established superstars like The Rolling Stones’ Mick Jagger & Keith Richards, Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler & Joe Perry, Linkin Park, Sia, Regina Spektor, R.E.M, Lorde, Blondie, CAKE, Elvis Costello, Sheryl Crow, Rosanne Cash, Amanda Shires, Lionel Richie, Pearl Jam, Green Day and Panic! At the Disco.

The Artist Rights Alliance is an artist-run, non-profit organization fighting for songwriters and musicians in the modern music economy. It is led by a Board of Directors including GRAMMY winner Rosanne Cash, music manager Thomas Manzi, John McCrea of CAKE, critically acclaimed Americana singer/songwriter Tift Merritt, award-winning producer Ivan Barias, world guitar innovator Matthew Montfort, and Indie label executive and musician Maggie Vail. Longtime DC political strategist and former top House of Representatives staffer Ted Kalo is ARA’s Executive Director.

ARA works to ensure artists are at the table when decisions are made on policies that affect their lives and livelihoods and empowers artists to advocate directly for themselves through classes, events, and presentations to demystify music, politics, and the spaces where they intersect.

Author: Buddy Iahn

Buddy Iahn founded The Music Universe when he decided to juxtapose his love of web design and music. As a lifelong drummer, he decided to take a hiatus from playing music to report it. The website began as a fun project in 2013 to one of the top independent news sites.