Band demands that Romney campaign stop using its song

Band demands that Romney campaign stop using its song

POSTED: Thursday, August 16, 2012 - 4:00pm

UPDATED: Thursday, August 16, 2012 - 4:04pm

The Romney campaign has received a cease-and-desist request from the rock band Silversun Pickups, which alleges illegal use of its song "Panic Switch" at a campaign event in August in North Carolina.

"Seems as if the GOP is once again whimsically ignoring our great nation's laws to do whatever it wants to do, and shooting itself in the foot in the process," band representative Ken Weinstein said in a statement Wednesday.

"Without any regard for copyright or intellectual property laws, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has, without permission, begun to use Silversun Pickups' 2009 smash 'Panic Switch' at campaign stops across the country," the band said.

Romney spokeswoman, Amanda Henneberg, responded to the request saying, "The song was inadvertently played during event set-up before Gov. Romney arrived at the location."

"As anyone who attends Gov. Romney's events knows, this is not a song we would have played intentionally. That said, it was covered under the campaign's regular blanket license, but we will not play it again," said Henneberg.

In their statement, Silversun Pickups said, "Neither the band nor its representatives were contacted to gain permission for the use of the song, and the band has no intention of endorsing the Romney campaign. The band's attorney issued a cease-and-desist today."

"We're nice, approachable people. We won't bite. Unless you're Mitt Romney!" lead guitarist Brian Aubert said. "We were very close to just letting this go, because the irony was too good. While he is inadvertently playing a song that describes his whole campaign, we doubt that 'Panic Switch' really sends the message he intends."

This is far from the first time a campaign has been asked to stop playing a band's music at campaign events. For example, the composer of the popular song "Eye of the Tiger" filed a copyright infringement complaint against Newt Gingrich during the Republican primary season earlier this year. And, during his 2008 campaign, soul singer Sam Moore asked then-senator Obama to stop using his song "Soul Man." 

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