Rolling Stones Threaten Trump With Lawsuit Over Rally Music
The Rolling Stones are taking “further steps” to prevent Donald Trump from using their music at his rallies after the president’s campaign ignored the previous cease-and-desist letters. “This could be the last time Trump uses any Jagger/ Richards songs on his campaigns,” the band’s rep said in a statement.
In a statement Saturday, the band announced that their legal team and performing rights organization BMI sent another warning to Trump’s campaign that, if the president continued to use the band’s music, he could face a lawsuit.
“The BMI have notified the Trump campaign on behalf of the Stones that the unauthorized use of their songs will constitute a breach of its licensing agreement,” the Rolling Stones rep added. “If Donald Trump disregards the exclusion and persists then he would face a lawsuit for breaking the embargo and playing music that has not been licensed.”
Despite previous warnings during the 2016 presidential campaign — “The Rolling Stones do not endorse Donald Trump. You Can’t Always Get What You Want was used without the band’s permission,” the Stones tweeted in July 2016 — the Trump team still played the Rolling Stones’ “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” at the president’s lightly attended rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma on June 20th.
As BMI told Deadline, “The Trump campaign has a Political Entities License which authorizes the public performance of more than 15 million musical works in BMI’s repertoire wherever campaign events occur. There is a provision, however, that allows BMI to exclude musical works from the license if a songwriter or publisher objects to its use by a campaign. BMI has received such an objection and sent a letter notifying the Trump campaign that the Rolling Stones’ works have been removed from the campaign license, and advising the campaign that any future use of these musical compositions will be in breach of its license agreement with BMI.”
The Tulsa rally similarly drew the ire of Tom Petty’s family, who similarly stated after the Trump rally featured “I Won’t Back Down,” “Trump was in no way authorized to use this song to further a campaign that leaves too many Americans and common sense behind. Both the late Tom Petty and his family firmly stand against racism and discrimination of any kind. Tom Petty would never want a song of his used for a campaign of hate. He liked to bring people together.”