[…]Meanwhile, the Future of Music Coalition said Trump’s first offense was not asking Young’s permission to use the song.
“Licensing for public events like rallies is relatively straightforward,” writes FOM staffers Kevin Erickson and Bryce Cashman.
“When a song is played at a rally, a candidate must ensure that they have a public performance license covering the song. Most major public venues (arenas, conference centers, hotels, etc) typically purchase blanket licenses from performance rights organizations (ASCAP, BMI, SESAC) allowing campaigns to “publicly perform” any song in their repertoire of which includes the vast majority of compositions; these licenses may not cover all uses so campaigns can also purchase their own blanket licenses. Indeed, Trump’s team asserted that they had such a license from Young’s preferred performance rights organization, ASCAP, clearing the use of the song.”
However, even if a candidate had received a blanket license to play a song, “Candidates could still face potential legal action from annoyed artists under legal provisions unrelated to copyright, such as right of publicity, trademark dilution under the Lanham Act, or false endorsement.”