Steven Tyler Says Trump Warning Letter Is Not Political
Steven Tyler said the act of sending Donald Trump a cease-and-desist letter wasn’t political, and instead was about protecting his rights as a creator.
The Aerosmith singer’s lawyers recently gave the U.S. President notice that he wasn’t allowed to use “Livin’ on the Edge” at political rallies after he was found to have done so. It followed previous cease-and-desist action in 2015 over the track “Dream On.”
“This is not about Dems vs. Repub.,” Tyler tweeted in response to fan queries. “I do not let anyone use my songs without my permission. My music is for causes, not for political campaigns or rallies. Protecting copyright and songwriters is what I've been fighting for even before this current administration took office.”
“This is one of the reasons why Joe Perry and i have been pushing the senate to pass the Music Modernization Act," he added. "No is a complete sentence.”
Earlier this year, Tyler voiced support for the MMA legislation, which is currently making its way through the political process. “Since 1909, songwriter rates have been dictated by law, not by what's negotiated in the real world or the free market," he said.
"Unlike artists and authors who create things, songwriters' rates are determined by a court, and that court doesn't even look at all the evidence to decide what songwriters deserve. The MMA improves this by telling the judges to look at what songwriters would make if they were in a free market, which will raise what songwriters are paid.”
In the cease-and-desist letter, Tyler’s representatives argued that "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.”
Accusing Trump of “willful infringement” after having ignored the previous communications, the letter noted that “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.”