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article imageAdele wants Donald Trump to stop using her music at rallies

By Megan Hamilton     Feb 3, 2016 in Politics
Adele is not happy that Donald Trump has been using her songs at his campaign gigs and has told him he does not have permission to do this.
The presidential hopeful has made quite a habit of playing her smash hit "Rolling in The Deep" at his rallies.
Trump, who likes to use the singer's hits as his warm-up music, is an Adele fan, The Independent reports. He attended her concert in New York last years, and has also played "Skyfall," her James Bond theme at his rallies.
In 2011, Adele stated that she was a "Labour girl," but since then she's preferred to stay clear of political debates.
Until now.
"Adele has not given permission for her music to be used for any political campaigning," said a spokesman for the singer.
This isn't the first time Trump has been given a smack-down for appropriating music, BBC News reports.
Attorneys for Aerosmith lead singer Steven Tyler fired off a cease-and-desist letter after Trump played "Dream On," a signature hit for the band, at numerous campaign rallies last year.
The letter stated that by using the song, it gave "a false impression" that he (Tyler) endorsed Trump's presidential bid. On Twitter, Trump fired back, saying he had the legal right to use the song, but found "a better one to take its place."
"Steven Tyler got more publicity on his song request than he's gotten in 10 years. Good for him!" he said.
The billionaire businessman has also played Neil Young's "Rockin' in the Free World," a protest song that was a fiery response to George Bush Sr.'s presidency, while announcing his candidacy.
Young is famously liberal, and he demanded that Trump quit using the song. Then he declared his support for Bernie Sanders.
Trump also used REM's "It's the End of the World as We Know It (And I feel Fine)," prompting singer Michael Stipe to issue some flowery, unprintable (for this publication) words. Stipe further said "Do not use our music or my voice for your moronic charade of a campaign."
And, the real estate magnate didn't win any of Adele's fans over when he cut in front of them to get to his seat at her Radio City Music Hall performance last year, The Guardian reported.
But there isn't much that performers can do if they wish to stop candidates from playing their music, said Steve Gordon, an entertainment lawyer and the author of "The Future of the Music Business."
In order to play a recording of a song at a political event, all the promoter has to do is get a license from a licensing agent (such as ASCAP, BMI, or SESAC).
U.S. federal government laws prevent the licensing agent from denying a license to anyone who applies, The Guardian notes.
Typically, artists try to sue for these three things show up where they don't want them to, he added: trademark infringement, right of publicity, and unfair trade practices.
"If I, as a reasonable person, at a Trump or [Mike] Huckabee rally where Adele was played thought that Adele was endorsing the campaign she should have a cause of action," Gordon said.
However, simply playing a recording of a song doesn't "count as a sufficient endorsement," he said.
And because Adele has declared that she "has not given permission for her music to be used for any political campaigning," it sends a clear signal to voters that she doesn't support Trump.
In contrast, the indie band Vampire Weekend publicly endorsed Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders. The group hit the stage with him at a students rally in Iowa and sang a rendition of Woody Guthrie's "This Land is Your Land" with Sanders.
More about Adele, Donald trump, Music, campaign rallies, rolling in the deep
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