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Would You Let Donald Trump Use Your Song?

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Donald Trump on his Presidential Campaign Trail

Donald Trump on his Presidential Campaign Trail

It’s become a perennial news story: Multi-Billionaire and multiple headline maker Donald Trump, the very first reality TV star who became a major party United States presidential candidate uses a hit song on the campaign trail, and the artist makes headlines by voicing his disapproval.

Queen — the British rock band best known for its openly bisexual (and unapologetically fabulous) frontman Freddie Mercury — was upset after the homophobic and xenophobic Republicans ended their Klan rally with one of Queen’s most popular songs, “We Are the Champions”.  Queen stirred up the conversation on the first night of the Republican National Convention, calling Donald Trump’s use of their song “We Are the Champions” unauthorized. Usher, Michael Bolton, and John Mellencamp recently appeared to perform a musical plea for politicians to stop using their songs.

Just a couple of weeks later, Queen emerged victorious — Trump is now banned from using their music at his events.

But the legal reality behind “unauthorized” use like this is often pretty misunderstood.

In most cases like this, the law is actually on the politicians’ side at first. Performing rights organizations (PROs) enable venues and event hosts to purchase the rights to play song catalogs. The three main PROs — BMI, ASCAP, and SESAC — cover most of the music published in the US. As long as the venue or the campaign pays those fees, it’s allowed to play whatever music is included in the PRO’s catalog.

That means that Trump — and any other politicians who get into trouble for their song choice — is legally in the clear if he secured the PRO license.

So every time musicians speak up against the use of their music at events, they aren’t exactly pointing out an illegal action. It’s more of a request for courtesy toward the artistic intent.

But under BMI (the PRO that licenses Queen’s music), musicians are allowed to request that their songs be pulled from a given politician’s available catalog if they don’t want their work associated with the campaign. After Queen and Adele made such requests this year, BMI sent letters to the Trump campaign and the RNC detailing the artists’ objections. That means their songs are no longer available to Trump under the blanket license.

So no matter what the polls say, it seems like we won’t see Trump walk out to “We Are the Champions” again anytime soon.

Now the big question: if you were given the chance, would you let Billionaire Donald Trump use your song? If so, which song would you let Trump use? Please leave your comments below.

For more information on 2016 IAMA (International Acoustic Music Awards) , please go to: http://www.inacoustic.com

 

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133 Responses to “Would You Let Donald Trump Use Your Song?”

  1. Our song was written with our American Troops in mind and with every man, woman and child, to not give up our beautiful, always waiving Flag to another dark one, lifeless, intruding piece of cloth forced on us! Our soldiers, our Military Leaders are the path, and persistence to every ounce of free fresh air we take.
    Trump will make sure we all breathe pure and secure air and not from contaminated skies.
    “There’s A Place” for every one and that place is Home, your Home in this Land, the Land Of United States of America.
    If our Future President, Donald Trump, wishes to use our song, “There’s A Place” we will be serving our country by spreading the message of Freedom; Freedom that will be taken away, little by little- if we don’t turn around.
    On Youtube
    https://youtu.be/qMeXhW255oQ

  2. Nick S. says:

    Hello, YES, I would let Trump use my song! First of all, while I don’t respect everything about Trump, and I detest that unindicted felon, Clinton, I would let either of them use my song, yes! But why? For one, I am not an established lyricist/songwriter, so, almost any exposure, I shall welcome. Savvy? IF I did have some success already with some of my songs, I like to believe that I still would let either one of them use my songs for the simple fact that they chose my song! Hello! Queen and John Mellencamp and other well known musicians can step aside then, and get out the way for those of us that would gladly lend our songs to Trump, or..(grimacing) Clinton.
    I wrote lyrics to my song titled, INSTRUMENT; believe me or don’t, for this very Presidential 2016, Campaign.
    I agree with mostly everything Ruby commented about this matter. Unfortunately, I do not see a Christian heart in Mr. Trump. I think he too, will say alot of poo just to get the evangelicals to support him, and Christians to support him and the Jewish population. Mr. Trump did not mention GOD in his RNC acceptance speech in July. He didn’t even give an indication that he is at least willing to study and learn about our LORD a little bit. I still will vote for Trump over Hillary, because she handed over our SECRETS to the enemy!! Yes, she did! And because she is in the pockets of anyone who pays her off; even if it means endangering AMERICAN LIVES! Yes she is! More defensive lying cannot refute what that treasonous woman is! I am proud to be a Christian. I am not afraid to write lyrics for what I believe in. And if nobody wants to sing my songs, or Co-write with me, I do it by myself. Because I’m not in in for the fame, or money or drug addictions, or face lifts, or MTV awards, or to be in bed with Top Dawgs in the industry. Understand. Thank you for asking this question.

  3. Max says:

    no. I most definitely would not. consider that he cheats just about EVERYONE on deals he makes, then, NO. Resoundingly, no. I don’t negotiate with terrorists.

  4. Anouschka says:

    No I would not let Donald Trump use my music because I do not feel that he shares my democratic and humanitarian values. As an artist, I am also a public figure, and I believe that there is responsibility that comes with that to set a positive example. It does not matter if I am seen and heard by millions or by one. Character is what you do when no one is looking. And character is the only thing that will get you through anything in life, not fame, not money. When all that is gone, character is what leaves a man/woman standing and ultimately defines you as artist and person. If your craft does not have the imprint of your character then it lacks individuality and is mundane to me. Music for me is meant to build bridges between people, not derision. It is one of the most powerful tools in soft diplomacy. Music is also a gift and an honour. We live in a time when the margins of culture are narrowing and encouraging more passivity form the public. Therefore, I would not let anyone use my music it if they engage in separatism, fear-mongering, racism, and “dumbing down” antics. Artists are the last fortress of a society’s consciousness. When they are silenced or when they let their art be used by anyone whether a Trump, or a Hitler, or a Terrorist, there is no more hope. I’d rather remain a poor artist with integrity than be a star who sold her soul.

  5. Iman Hojjat says:

    I let him singing my new song(congratulation president Hillary).

  6. Music is up for interpretation, so while a song might mean one thing to me it can mean a million other things to someone else.

    Artistry aside, this is also a business. And yes, I would let Trump and/or Clinton use my music for their campaigns. This includes the 2013 Top 30 Mainstream Rock Single “The Pride” from my band The Infinite Staircase.

    Other songs that might work: “Can’t Control It” or the band Le Projet that I work with and their song “Save Yourself”

  7. Dynamite Doug Klajewski says:

    Yes, I would let the Donald use my song. If anything I’ve written over the last 30 years appeals to him I’d love for him to use it and let thousands of Americans enjoy and perhaps relate to it. Of course I’d only let the Donald use an appropriate song that befits the circumstances. People think the Donald is going to destroy America. Well just wait until the con job Clintons get back in. Then you’ll wish you had voted for anybody else but them. God ( if there is one) bless this country. Please remember the Who song when voting “We won’t be fooled again.”

  8. “Corporate Land”

    https://paulajlaird.bandcamp.com/track/corporate-land

    I’m not like Steven Tyler, I would be delighted if you played Corporate Land at your events. A bass line that has some good energy.
    This song with its funky beat will definitely wake you up, when I wrote it I could think of a girl getting off a bus in the middle of New York City after being on a bus for about one or two days, taking the chance to make it in this big old world, of course being on a bus for that long she’s not going to look that great, as she’s getting off exiting the bus, and coming down the stairs in her dress to success skirt and jacket and some outdated high heels for her interview, there it is, the muddy puddle she steps in as she’s looking straight up the skyscrapers, can’t help but think, you go, girl; just starting out in a huge city, such as downtown LA, Chicago or the biggest of all New York.

    Thank you for your time and have a great day

    Paula J Laird

  9. DeDe says:

    Yes I actually wrote a great New song called “America United” about 3 years ago and it’s about getting America to unify despite political, race, economic, educational and cultural differences & issues. We just rerecorded a new and better version in Nashville in June thats pa trio tic aND fantastic. It’s about returning America to strength, unity and our roots! A great concept that closely aligns with conservative ideals and Donald Trump’s views. http://Www.Dede-Music.com

  10. Frank says:

    Yes ! Donald Trump can use any of my songs !! He deserves to be supported by the true USA patriots who love this country, supported through our music !!

  11. GLee says:

    Please do not ever say Trump represents Christians. He’s a phony Christian that used this label to get the Evangelical vote and it’s clear that he is the opposite of what Jesus stood for. When asked to recite his favorite verse, he could not name even one. To contrast him and Jesus, Jesus exemplified: servanthood, one who did not seek political status or worldly wealth, but was only interested in the heart of a person. This is quite the opposite with DT.

    I think it’s funny that Queen has banned Trump from using their songs. Good for them. Especially recently, it is evident that he is NOT a champion by anyone’s standards.

  12. Logan says:

    I would let Trump use the song that I wrote called, “A Crooked Businessman and a Crooked Politician Walk Into a Bar…”

  13. I have discovered a greater evil than having your song misused – and for a lesser known artist, that is, without doubt: having your music ignored. How can such an artist be upset when even controversial attention is better than none (in this business)? One could have one’s true artistic message misrepresented – but to whom? First you need to be ABLE to reach your intended audience.

    So, to answer the question, I would let Trump use my music, despite my political, ideological, humanistic and moral views and beliefs to the contrary… and then argue my intended message later.

    However I would offer up something a little more “tongue-in-cheek” as far as lyrics are concerned.

    “The Dance” and “Usury” are two tunes of mine Mr. Trump can use… (as long as he doesn’t mind that I am a gay Jewish African-American Mexican lesbian democrat by orientation…)

    https://www.reverbnation.com/tranceparentc
    -YoSloBitch

  14. Ray says:

    ^ There are actually Trump supporters out there? Please watch an interview of this guy. He is rude, belittles his peers, mocks and sneers. Imagine the international conventions. You like to think he’ll just be a powerful presence, but the rest of the world doesn’t enjoy American ego and he epitomizes it.

    His ghostwriter for “How To Make A Deal” came out revealing that Trump didn’t write that book (despite referring to it like he did on the campaign trail) and he (after spending much time with him) would NOT want him as president for many reasons.

    Furthermore, his positions are extremely hateful towards minorities! If you support Trump, you are against what America is: a melting pot of cultures coming together. And to this post’s point, yes, he is going to try to reverse a lot of social progress we have fought for and made.

    Frankly, Hillary Clinton is corrupt and flawed in her own ways, but in ways that are less severe for our country. I would prefer to have Bernie Sanders use my song, but Clinton can use it if it’s to bring down Trump.

  15. Michael John says:

    seriously ? the Donald supports Christians ? since when did Christ approve of pathological liars and torture ? there is nothing Christian about a man who mocks the handicapped , calls everybody names and points his bigoted finger at all others while telling us that he is “one of the best Christians there is” Make no mistake …. the Donald is a shrewd man who want’s the Christian vote and will say anything to get it …… I honestly pity some of you …….. it must be awful living the paranoid lives you lead …… We have made progress since Obama took over but it could have been so much better ……… I just witnessed almost 8 years of the congress obstructing everything they possibly could simply because they did not want our country to do well while there was a black democrat in the white house …… purposely thwarting our country’s progress to make him look bad… it is shameful …..they should be arrested for treason ! this is the Donald’s ilk …. Make America great again ? we are already the greatest nation the world has ever known ….. lets keep it great by not allowing people like the Donald into our government …… and kicking people like him out …… As for the question of using my songs … let me say this …even if you had a great song that you thought would benefit listeners , would you really want it associated with a man like this ? Not me …. M.J.

  16. Nick S. says:

    Hullo, YES, I would, I could, I will, with a fish in a well-wish, on some plane, in the rain, lend, give, maybe sell (for a fair-not greedy-price) Trump my song! I’m not stupid. First, while I do not respect everything about Trump, and I aint voting for Clinton, I would let either of them use my song. I am not an established lyricist, so almost any exposure, I shall welcome. I said, almost. Trump and (I’m grimacing) Clinton, I do permit in that category. Secondly, IF I were to already have some success, or decent co-writes, or even win a couple contests with some of my lyrics, I like to believe that I would still be obliged to let either one of them use my song, for the simple fact that they chose it! Hello! Queen and Mellencamp and any other celebrity status musicians can step aside, man, and get out of our way; those of us who aint so uppity.
    So Trump is straight, and he is not gay. So the eff what! So, you’re gay and lgbt and miley is a..what is that word she calls herself..? So what! Trump’s not gay, so all of hollywood and Queen won’t lend him their song…wth is that childish manure! I guess, it is their prerogative, yeah. I just don’t agree with their reasoning.
    INSTRUMENT is an AMERICAN themed song I wrote.
    And I’m going to keep lyricising songs until my last breath; because I don’t write poetry and lyrics for the love of money, or face lifts, or to be politically correct, or for golden statuettes, or to get my photograph accompanied with any or more “likes” than you, or to lie in bed with Top Dawgs in the entertainment industry; I write them because it is my passion.
    If I am blessed to co-write with a songwriter, musician, and he or she can actually see a partnership, and if Mr. Trump wants to use my/our song, I don’t have a problem with it.

  17. Wayne Freeman says:

    And here it is!

    https://youtu.be/2NCkv5luLag

  18. Barry David Butler says:

    YES and Yes….I have a song but cannot get it to him called “MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN”

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KmlCGh0oZf0

    Barry

  19. Jeff M. says:

    Absolutely Yes!The racists groups, the new black panthers and only black lives matter support the president and Hillary. Hillary also has the endorsements of the last 2 terrorists who killed innocent people and both Hillary and the President have the support of major terrorists organization because they are weak and do NOT put the lives and priorities of Americans first. Like many, I don’t agree with everything Trump says or does, but he is far better than Hillary, her rapist husband, the President or anything the Democratic party has put forward as a decent human being since Truman. Celebrities in this country support them the same way celebrities in Russia and Germany supported Stalin and Hitler. Most Republicans and all Democratic politicians are completely responsible for the massive loss of jobs in this country over the last 40 years, our fall in education from 1st to 17th in the last 50 years. Trump may not be able to save this country from the damage but at least we can stop these politicians from using OUR pain as their personal bank account.

  20. Broncano says:

    I’m sure if Queen and Melllencamp et al were struggling musicians, they’d change their tune. Now, if it was Hitler who wanted to use We are the champions, I’d have to think about it. But Trump!? That my friend(s) is a no brainer for musicians tryin to make a livin. Besides you can fight from the inside.

  21. The Midnight Candy says:

    yes… I would. Any publicity is good publicity. Our song WAITING ON THE SUN would work well!

  22. Fish says:

    Klan rally? Really? You’re the racist.
    Keep drinking the Kool Aid dork.

  23. Judy Lamppu says:

    “This is a fight I can Win” is one of my songs that I would love for him to use.

  24. Tiger Lyn says:

    To the person asking,
    I would be most honored if the next president of the United States, Donald Trump would want to use my songs at his rallies, at his benefits at his inaguration, ianywhere he wants too, I would be so honored!! I have tweeted to him multiple times,I have put links on his Facebook! I have tried to contact him through his children and I do not know how to reach him with my music although I truly believe that music is the way to reach the world with messages that otherwise fall on deaf ears. To me it is the greatest medium to raise awareness and reach all races, regardless of political affiliation as it is the universal language of the world. I have two songs that I think would be perfect for his campaign one is called “America is still the place”, https://youtu.be/Qwjj0x8qWCY
    and the other is called “Freedom”
    https://youtu.be/JqwFYUfBNUA
    both of them can be found on YouTube although I don’t like my video for “Freedom” as much as I do the one for “America still the place” however, it’s the lyrics that matter and being on a small budget, I’ve done the best I can with what I have now if only I could get it in front of the right people!! Can you help me??
    Sincerely and in good faith…
    Tiger Lyn

  25. Natral says:

    Yeah man, why not!!

  26. Joel C says:

    Of course I would. Music is the one language that can cross boundaries of time, nationalities, beliefs, religion, and … why would a musician or band want to engage in bigotry and separatists that we preach against. Is denying someone the use of your talent the same thing? A gift is a gift, who am I to tell anyone what they should feel. The experience you feel from one of my songs, love it or hate it, is yours.

  27. P E Jones says:

    ABSOLUTELY! “LINE IN THE SAND” – Has a Great Message. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IsqvM7kAKFA
    My sound off: It’s not just about Trump who is not a Seasoned Programmed Polished Politician or Hillary who knows every trick in the book to hide all her Deals, Money, LIES in exchanged for favors and how she can manipulate votes. The Media & Obama initiated the FUEL towards HATRED and it has escalated by dividing everyone by Race, Age, Rich, Poor, Educated, Young, Old, Not Educated… whatever. Perfect example of “United We Stand – Divided We Fall”. Our country has fallen, its BROKE and they are allowing the voice of Foreign countries who Hate Us to Dominate us & the voice of those who we trusted TO DEFEND US WHEN THEY TOOK AN OATH. We are SICK & TIRED of the Corruption, Money Laundering, Destruction, Lies, Disrespect of this insane Gov. towards AMERICA, AMERICAN PEOPLE, AMERICAN LAWS, our Culture, AMERICAN Traditions & Christianity faiths. We are not looking for a RADICAL POWER HUNGRY DICTATOR, a White, Black, 1st Woman, Grandma, Indian etc. nor a Pastor, Rabbi, Priest – We do not want to be sold out for their greed and power paid by other countries who hate us. We need someone who has business sense/history & must LOVE America. Not Iran, Pakistan, Germany, Britain, Mexico or? People come here, expect us to change the freedom of OUR culture & values for them? This is the “United States of AMERICA” NOT the WORLD! We have American flags to HONOR Veterans who shed blood for OUR Freedom and are now told to hide them as it offends someone who is not American? This New World Order crap will never work. We do not nor will accept a Gov. forcing our values to conform to other countries Radical Ideology. They would not do it for us either. We want someone who will LOVE AMERICA, LOVE AMERICANS FIRST, Honor and take care of our Veterans and those who truly need it… Not sell us OR our children with this attempt of indoctrination in exchange for Greedy Politician’s for favors from FOREIGN COUNTRIES- To fill their Greed & Power. We had progressed regardless how long it took but since 2009 it is worse than the 50/60s ever was! Martin L King would turn over in his grave if he saw what this Administration has done to our Country & People. We took pride in being the “Land of Opportunity – to the Land of Opportunists” who only think of entitlements. Sorry – subject hits a nerve!

  28. Jas Vaughn says:

    Nope, my soul is worth a hell of lot more than any remuneration for rights to use my music by an avowed racist, mysogynist user of people and gamer/abuser of the courts.

    Hell, he’s probably going to sue me now…

  29. Billy J McBee says:

    Yes

  30. Janet Bressler says:

    My first answer to the question posed by this post was, hell no! …and then i thought, well, maybe he could use this song i wrote about a miserable old man i knew … who promptly died right after i wrote it! (oops!) The song was originally intended for a male vocal (with appropriate pronouns) but then i started singing it myself even though it’s not autobiographical- anyone who knows me, knows i’m really very nice! https://soundcloud.com/janetb-3/too-mean-to-die-pm-2-18-16

  31. jane johnson says:

    DO I CARE??? ”MAYBE I’II BE THERE ‘N’ ‘MAYBE I’LL STILL CARE, (C)2016,oc,
    YOU’RE SAYING WHAT WE HAD IS OVER, NOW that YOU’VE FOUND SOMEBODY NEW,
    SO IF YOU CHANGE YOUR MIND,and wanna come back home THIS IS SOMETHING I WANT YOU TO DO. YOU CAN- SIT RITE DOWN HANG YOUR HAT ON THE NAIL, WRITE ME A LETTER, DROP IT IN THE MAIL,
    TELL ME HOW MUCH YOU MISS ME, TELL ME HOW MUCH YOU NEED ME,
    TELL ME HOW MUCH YOU WANT ME TO TAKE YOU BACK AGAIN,
    AND MAYBE I’LL BE THERE-MAYBE I’LL BE THERE BEFORE THE SUN COMES UP IN THE MORNING, OR MAYBE I’LL BE THERE,BEFORE THE SUN GOES DOWN AT NIGHT,
    JUST KEEP ON W-AIT-ING, AND MAYBE I’LL BE THERE X-X–AND MAYBE I’LL STILL CARE.
    ONE DAY YOU’RE GONNA WAKE UP sad and lonely and you’re gona try your best to cet a hold of me.AND YOU’LL WANNA COME BACK HOME AGAIN,
    SO LISTEN WHILE TELL YOU NOW, SOME OF , THE THINGS THAT MIGHT TRY THIN ,
    YOU CAN FIND YOURSELF An AIR PLANE, LEARN HOW TO FLY, WRITE MY NAME ALL OVER THE SKY,TELL ME HOW MUCH YOU MISS ME, TELL ME HOW MUCH YOU NEED ME,
    LET THE WHOLE WORLD KNOW HOW SORRY YOU ARE THAT YOU LEFT ME,
    CAUSE YOU CAN ALWAYS COUNT ON ME, THE WAY I ALWAYS COULD COUNT ON YOU,
    OR– YOU – C–A–N -J-U-S-T SIT RITE DOWN, HANG YOUR HAT ON THE NAIL,
    WRITE ME A LETTER, DROP IT IN THE MAIL, TELL ME HOW MUCH YOU NEED ME,
    TELL ME HOW MUCH YOU MISS ME,TELL ME HOW MUCH YOU LOVED BEING LOVED BY ME,
    AND MAYBE I’LL BE THERE,MAYBE I’LL BE THERE,- BEFORE THE SUN COMES UP IN THE MORNING,.OR MAYBE I’LL BE THERE BEFORE THE SUN GOES DOWN THAT NIGHT,
    MAYBE I’LL BE THERE -,WILL MAYBE I ”MIGHT” BE THERE THERE,
    YES MAYBE I’LL BE THERE, AND MAYBE I’LL STILL CARE.

  32. Anne Freeman says:

    i have a song called “I’m still here” and I think it would be perfect for him- Sure id let him exploit my music, heck he has a lot of people watching him now, great exposure! LOL

  33. Anne Freeman says:

    Not being season or polished is exactly why he won. i hate both parties, they are the same the party. Americans are tired of being bull s#it’d but slit and shine lies and maybe prettier than telling the truth, but in my book, its disingenuous and insulting.

    Walk the walk, not just talk the talk. onward!

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