The Song Remains The Same

There is a new tradition in political campaigns – candidate fights with musicians over the right to use their music. Here’s a primer from NPR on the subject. We’ve seen this any number of times. One argument that’s mentioned in the NPR piece that I hadn’t thought of was a trademark claim. Artists can make this argument even if the candidate technically complies with license agreements and otherwise satisfies copyright law. The argument is basically, that by using my song, you are implying that I endorse you. And depending on the candidate and the artist, that could be a real problem. And speaking of music, take a look at the right hand margin of the NPR story for this piece advocating for the Monkees’ admission to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. I don’t usually get involved in controversies, but I want to state for the record my opposition to this. I just don’t see it. In fact the only argument I can see in their favor is that they cut Stephen Stills from the band due to his bad teeth. Had he made the band, I wonder if we would have had “Suite Judy Blue Eyes”, “Carry On” or the greatest live album ever made, “Four Way Street.” Beyond that, I’m having trouble seeing their contribution.