French Democracy

Photo courtesy of Flickr and Pupkin

Photo courtesy of Flickr and Pupkin

MGMT. They’re fun guys, right? Happy-go-lucky and unlikely to be bothered by much? Apparently not. The psychedelic pop duo are suing Nicolas Sarkozy’s UMP party for using one of their songs, ‘Kids’, without their permission.

According to the Guardian, the song was used repeatedly at rallies and political broadcasts, as well as allegedly appearing in videos on the UMP website.

Photo courtesy of Flickr and Juampe Lopez

Photo courtesy of Flickr and Juampe Lopez

The story also took on a fresh twist due to the UMP’s anti file-sharing stance. The party have been one of the leading exponents of imposing stricter laws against those who infringe on musican’s copyright.

“It seems that those who led the charge against internet users are not the most respectful of copyright,” the band’s lawyer, Isabelle Wekstein, told Le Monde.

MGMT decided to sue after the UMP offered a paltry one euro as a symbolic damages payment, which was described as”insulting” by Wekstein.

Inspired by Sarkozy’s blunder (note to Nicolas: if you have a famous singer as a wife, use one of her songs. She won’t sue you and, more importantly, people won’t care what she’s singing–they’ll be too busy gawping at her), PopBlog takes a look at three other political party vs pop star disputes.

1) Bruce Springsteen, Born in the USA–used by Ronald Reagan in 1984.

Boss was reportedly furious that Reagan used his anti-Vietnam blast for his1984 re-election campaign. Bruce requested that the Republican President stopped using told the song, and told Rolling Stone magazine that he felt Reagan and his party had “manipulated and exploited” its original meaning.

2) Tom Petty, I Won’t Back Down–used by George W. Bush in 2000. Everyone’s favourite President started to use Petty’s 1989 single at campaign events, but was served with a cease-and-desist letter from Petty’s lawyer ensured Bush stopped using the song. According to TIME magazine, Petty then went on to kick Bush while he was down by performing the song in a private concert at the home of his rival Al Gore.

3)Foo Fighers, My Hero–used by John McCain in 2008. Continuing the trend of musician v Republican battles, the Foo Fighters were enraged by John McCain’s use of ‘My Hero’ in his campaign. Although lead singer Dave Grohl’s description of the song as a “celebration of the common man and his extraordinary potential” may suggest it would be the perfect song for Joe the Plumber to have on the radio while he fixes sinks, the band saw things differently, claiming that “to have it appropriated without our knowledge and used in a manner that perverts the original sentiment of the lyric just tarnishes the song.”

~ by benjaminhewitt on March 2, 2009.

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