Law academic questions the use of music without the artists permission

Queen (Band) Freddie Mercury Brian May Roger Taylor John Deacon Image 350x263

At our School of Law, our academics provide important insight into the laws surrounding major world events.

An academic from the school has conducted research into music copyright in the context of the Presidential election in the USA.

At the Republican National Convention, Donald Trump used classic song ‘We are the Champions’ from rock legends Queen during his speech, without the consent of band members Roger Taylor and Brian May.

However, there have been plenty of instances where politicians have used music without the approval of both the artist and recording studio; for example: John McCain in 2008 using the Foo Fighter’s track ‘My Hero’, Eminem’s ‘Lose Yourself’ was used by the New Zealand National Party for their electoral campaign and former France President Nicolas Sarkozy using MGMT’s 2009 single ‘Kids’ – all played during their respected campaign without the consent of the artist.

Speaking about laws surrounding copyright, Dr Ewan Kirk said:

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Birmingham City University

“If individual permission had to be sought for each piece of music used at an event or on a TV programme, from the owner of the copyright, this would make the process of clearing rights for such purpose extremely time-consuming and complicated.”

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