When must candidates get permission to use music, and who must they ask?
Ian Dunham & Kevin Erickson
Wednesday, September 9, 2015
In any season of political campaigns, candidates on the trail tend to use music as a tool to energize and inspire crowds or motivate potential voters. It’s an American tradition that dates back to George Washington himself. Sometimes, though, candidates appropriate music whose authors and rightsholders may not approve of its use, for a variety of reasons. Past campaign cycles have generated a long list of artists angered by the use of their work, and already it seems the 2016 campaign season will follow suit. read more
The Beastie Boys’ recent battle with upstart toy company GoldieBlox is one of the most contentious copyright conflicts in recent memory. Although many of us thought the episode was winding to a close, it now looks like this was premature: last week, the Beastie Boys filed their defense and counterclaims in a California federal court. Here’s a recap of the story so far.
First, GoldieBlox created an online advertisement titled “GoldieBlox, Rube Goldberg & The Beastie Boys” that used the 1986 Beasties hit “Girls”—a song which expressed juvenile sexist attitudes, possibly with satiric intent. The GoldieBlox ad changed the song’s sophomoric lyrics to mock the way toys are typically marketed to girls, while promoting products that cultivate girls’ interest in physics & engineering. The video went viral, earning widespread media attention and racking up millions of views.