News: CNN reports that Universal Music Publishing and Sony BMG, which own the copyright to the Heart song “Barricuda,” sent a cease and desist letter to John McCain and Sarah Palin for their (apparent?) unauthorized use of the song last night at the Republican National Convention. It’s not exactly clear, but the CNN report implies that the use was not licensed.
“Barracuda” is the nickname of Sarah Palin from her days as a point guard on the high school basketball team. It is also the title of the very famous song by Heart.
Analysis: This now appears to be a pattern in the McCain camp or Republican Party of not getting copyright permissions to use copyrighted works of others. Jackson Browne has already sued the Republicans for using his song without permission in a McCain video. Earlier in the primary, FOX News sent a letter to stop McCain from using FOX footage in its campaign videos. And, just this week, the McCain camp used copyrighted footage of CSPAN or some other network to create a badly cropped video of Sarah Palin’s speech, which I’m assuming was done in order to cover up the CSPAN logo.
I’m all for liberal fair use in the context of presidential campaigns, which are no doubt important for this country, but it does seem ironic to see presidential candidates flagrantly disregard copyrights, particularly with musical works (which receive a greater scope of protection than coverage of news events).
UPDATE: CNN is now reporting that the McCain camp says a license had been obtained for the song.