/ 5 September 2008

Watching the RNC last night with Mary I wondered allowed whether the McCain campaign had bothered to clear the rights for the music they were using after McCain’s speech. There have been many cases of artists asking the McCain campaign to stop using their music without permission earlier in the campaign. Well, it turns out Ann and Nancy Wilson, authors of “Barracuda,” the song I was hearing when I asked the question, are none too happy about it’s use by McCain.

In fact, they’d sent a “cease and desist” letter before last night’s use.

I guess copyright is fine to impose on us smallfry, but just does not apply to those with enough clout. The big acts (Disney) get their long terms and the smaller acts (Wilsons) can’t even get an obvious infringing use halted. In fact, since the Wilsons probably don’t even hold the copyright to their own song, this may not even be a copyright issue. But it certainly goes to the heart of why copyright supposedly exists: to encourage creators to create. Our current warped system does not really do that anymore. Instead, it encourages corporations to profit and fans (even John McCain) to steal. How did we get here?

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