A rancid whiff of cruelty and corruption clings to everything Trump touches. The man has nothing positive to offer the world and association with him is becoming increasingly toxic, as patriotic Americans have taken to confronting his worst enablers in public. It’s little surprise then that artists and musicians are refusing to let the wannabe authoritarian coopt their work.
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Now, another world-famous musician has stepped forward to denounce Trump. Steven Tyler of the rock band Aerosmith has sent a cease-and-desist letter to the administration, demanding that the president immediately stop using Aerosmith songs at his events.
Variety reports that Dina LaPolt, Tyler’s attorney, sent the letter after Trump and his people played Aerosmith at his inane rally yesterday in West Virginia. LaPlot accused the president of “willful infringement” for using the song in such a way.
CNN‘s Jim Acosta shared a video of the Aerosmith song. The same rally saw the crowd of Trump supporters chanting “Lock her up” about Hillary Clinton, in case anyone needs reminding how mindless the Trump movement has become and why Tyler wants nothing to do with these people.
The scene in WV before Trump’s rally. Aerosmith’s “Livin’ on the edge” playing. pic.twitter.com/HW1qr9TBgE
— Jim Acosta (@Acosta) August 21, 2018
The crowd at tonight’s Trump rally in West Virginia is chanting, “Drain that swamp” and “Lock her up," on a day where the president’s former lawyer pleaded guilty to campaign-finance violations and his former campaign chairman was convicted on eight counts of fraud charges.
— Rebecca Ballhaus (@rebeccaballhaus) August 21, 2018
LaPolt cited the Lanham Act, a federal trademark statute that prohibits “any false designation or misleading description or representation of fact … likely to cause confusion … as to the affiliation, connection, or association of such person with another person.” Stephen Tyler’s attorney argued that the use of an Aerosmith song at a public political rally dishonestly implies that Tyler supports the Trump administration. Clearly, he does not.
Variety provided excerpts from LaPol’s letter to the White House:
“It has come to our attention that President Donald J. Trump and/or The Trump Organization (collectively, ‘Mr. Trump’) have been using our client’s song ‘Livin’ On The Edge’ in connection with political rally events (the Rallies), including at an event held yesterday at the Charleston Civic Center in Charleston, West Virginia on August 21, 2018. As expressly outlined in the Previous Letters, Mr. Trump does not have our client’s permission to use any of our client’s music, including ‘Livin’ On The Edge’.”
“What makes this violation even more egregious is that Mr. Trump’s use of our client’s music was previously shut down, not once, but two times, during his campaign for presidency in 2015. Please see the Previous Letters sent on behalf of our client attached here as Exhibit A. Due to your receipt of the Previous Letters, such conduct is clearly willful, subjecting Mr. Trump to the maximum penalty under the law.”
“As we have made clear numerous times, Mr. Trump is creating the false impression that our client has given his consent for the use of his music, and even that he endorses the presidency of Mr. Trump. By using ‘Livin’ On The Edge’ without our client’s permission, Mr. Trump is falsely implying that our client, once again, endorses his campaign and/or his presidency, as evidenced by actual confusion seen from the reactions of our client’s fans all over social media. This specifically violates Section 43 of the Lanham Act, as it ‘is likely to cause confusion, or to cause mistake, or to deceive as to the affiliation, connection, or association of such person with another person.'”
“Further, as we have also made clear, Mr. Trump needs our client’s express written permission in order to use his music. We demanded Mr. Tyler’s public performance societies terminate their licenses with you in 2015 in connection with ‘Dream On’ and any other musical compositions written or co-written by Mr. Tyler. As such, we are unaware of any remaining public performance license still in existence which grants Mr. Trump the right use his music in connection with the Rallies or any other purpose. If Mr. Trump has any such license, please forward it to our attention immediately.”
“In addition, Mr. Tyler’s voice is easily recognizable and central to his identity, and any use thereof wrongfully misappropriates his rights of publicity. Mr. Trump does not have any right to use the name, image, voice or likeness of our client, without his express written permission.”
Previously, Tyler tried to stop Trump from using the Aerosmith song “Dream On” during his 2015 campaign. At this point, the president could save himself some embarrassment by just admitting that he may like Aerosmith, but Aerosmith certainly doesn’t like him.