Saturday, September 6, 2008

Permission Not Granted

Should be the new slogan of the McCain-Palin ticket. The funniest is this statement from the principal of Walter Reed Middle School in North Hollywood, California:
"It has been brought to the school's attention that a picture of the front of our school, Walter Reed Middle School, was used as a backdrop at the Republican National Convention. Permission to use the front of our school for the Republican National Convention was not given by our school nor is the use of our school's picture an endorsement of any political party or view."

Don’t worry, we’re quite sure the RNC screwed up and meant to use a picture of Walter Reed Army hospital.

And then there’s the whole music thing. Nashville songwriters take note: John McCain does not respect your copyrights. Ann and Nancy Wilson of Heart, one of my all time favorite rock bands, sent the McCain camp a cease and desist order when their song “Barracuda” was used after Sarah Palin’s speech this week. And yet, the campaign ignored it:

But after McCain finished his speech accepting the GOP's presidential nomination tonight, Palin joined him on stage, and the song was used again: Heart's "Barracuda" played as balloons fell. With that elephant in the room, Heart's Nancy Wilson felt compelled to personally respond. "I think it's completely unfair to be so misrepresented," she said in a phone call to after the speech. "I feel completely f---ed over." She and sister Ann Wilson then e-mailed the following exclusive statement:

"Sarah Palin's views and values in NO WAY represent us as American women. We ask that our song 'Barracuda' no longer be used to promote her image. The song 'Barracuda' was written in the late 70s as a scathing rant against the soulless, corporate nature of the music business, particularly for women. (The 'barracuda' represented the business.) While Heart did not and would not authorize the use of their song at the RNC, there's irony in Republican strategists' choice to make use of it there."

Sad thing is, this wasn’t even the first time McCain’s campaign had ignored an artist’s copyright. Or even the second. Or even, the third:

For The Fifth Time, McCain Campaign Illegally Uses Artists’ Copyrighted Music

Last month, McCain released his technology policy, in which he promised to “protect the creative industries from piracy.” Yet as ThinkProgress has reported previously, McCain has infringed on artists’ copyrights on at least four other occasions:

- In August, singer Jackson Browne sued the McCain campaign and the Ohio Republican Party for copyright infringement because his song “Running on Empty” was used in an ad by the state party. Browne’s lawyers said that “McCain and his campaign were well aware of” this fact.

– In August, the McCain campaign re-cut a web ad after comedian Mike Myers’s publicist complained about the use of footage of Myers and fellow Saturday Night Live alum Dana Carvey’s “Wayne’s World” characters.

– In July, the McCain campaign had to pull and re-cut a web ad after Frankie Valli’s record label, the Warner Music Group, asserted its copyright claims over the use of the song “Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You.”

– Earlier this year, the copyright owners for the “Rocky” theme song “telephoned the McCain campaign to politely complain it was being used without permission.”

I know, I know. We creative types are merely disposable tools whose work should be pressed into the service of the establishment. Because nothing is more important than supporting our fascist overlords.

Just kidding.