May 21, 2019

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Rules for Use of Music at Political Campaign Events

National Public Radio had a story yesterday on politicians’ use (or misuse) of music at campaign events.  It sets forth three seemingly simple rules for politicians to follow in order to avoid copyright and/or trademark based claims arising from such use:  (1) know your venue; (2) know when to ask for permission; and (3) “know when to fold’em.”  

 The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) has prepared a helpful Q&A on the topic.  The alleged misuse of music at campaign events is an issue that has plagued politicians, including most recently Newt Gingrich.  Given that we have 11 more months of political campaigning to look forward to before the presidential election, something tells me that we’ll be talking about these three simple rules again (and again).

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