The Rolling Stones threaten to sue Trump over music played at campaign events

LONDON (AP) – The Rolling Stones are threatening President Donald Trump with legal action for using his songs in his protests despite the cease and desist directives.

The Stones said in a statement Sunday that their legal team is working with music rights organization BMI to stop the use of their material in Trump’s re-election campaign.

“The IMC notified the Trump campaign on behalf of the Stones that the unauthorized use of their songs will constitute a violation of their license agreement,” the Stones said. “If Donald Trump ignores the exclusion and persists, then he would face a lawsuit to break the embargo and play unauthorized music.”

Trump’s campaign team did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment.

Mick Jagger, Charlie Watts, Keith Richards and Ron Wood pose for photos at the José Martí airport in Havana, Cuba, in March 2016.

Associated Press

The Stones had complained during the 2016 Trump campaign about the use of their music to ignite their conservative base in protests.

The 1969 Rolling Stones classic “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” was a popular song for their events. It was played again at the close of the Trump rally last weekend in Tulsa, Oklahoma, an indoor event that was criticized for its potential to spread the coronavirus and which, for the Trump team, drew bitterly disappointing attendance.

Music rights organization BMI provides licenses for venues to play a wide range of music and has a catalog of more than 15 million songs that can be played at political events. Artists can choose not to have their music played at political events, and an IMC statement says the Stones have.

The IMC informed the Trump campaign that if it plays the Stones’ music again at an event, it will violate its licensing agreement, according to the statement.

Other artists have also complained that their music is associated with the Trump events.

The family of the late rock musician Tom Petty said he had issued a cease and desist order after Trump used the song “I Won’t Back Down” in Tulsa.

“Trump was in no way authorized to use this song to promote a campaign that leaves too many Americans and common sense behind,” the statement said. “Both the late Tom Petty and his family strongly oppose racism and discrimination of any kind. Tom Petty would never want a song of his to be used in a hate campaign. He liked to bring people together. ”

Grammy-winning musician Neil Young lashed out at Trump in 2018 after listening to one of his songs performed against his wishes during Trump’s mid-term campaign rallies. The Canadian-born musician warned Trump for using his 1990 single, “Rockin ‘in the Free World,” despite previous warnings.