Steven Tyler Tells Donald Trump to Stop Playing Aerosmith Songs at Rallies
Variety is reporting that Steven Tyler has sent a "cease and desist" letter to the White House demanding that President Donald Trump stop using Aerosmith songs at his rallies. The note, which was sparked by an Aug. 21 rally in West Virginia at which the band's song "Livin’ on the Edge" played, was sent through Tyler's attorney Dina LaPolt. It accused Trump of "willful infringement in broadcasting the song."
This follows the 2015 case of Tyler sending a cease and desist letter to Trump after his use of Aerosmith's song "Dream On" during his campaign for Presidency. According to Variety, Tyler and his team were successful in having the song pulled. They are now doubling down on Trump, clarifying that "Mr. Trump needs our client’s express written permission in order to use his music."
You can read the letter to the White House, as well as see a clip of "Livin’ on the Edge" being played at a Trump rally, below. Tyler and his bandmates in Aerosmith have been in the news cycle consistently as of late, from announcing their Las Vegas residency and performing at the VMAs with rapper Post Malone, to Tyler rejecting an overzealous, selfie-taking fan.
It has come to our attention that President Donald J. Trump and/or The Trump Organization (collectively, “Mr. Trump”) have been using our client’s song “Livin’ On The Edge” in connection with political rally events (the Rallies”), including at an event held yesterday at the Charleston Civic Center in Charleston, West Virginia on August 21, 2018. As expressly outlined in the Previous Letters, Mr. Trump does not have our client’s permission to use any of our client’s music, including “Livin’ On The Edge”.
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. Please see the Previous Letters sent on behalf of our client attached here as Exhibit A. Due to your receipt of the Previous Letters, such conduct is clearly willful, subjecting Mr. Trump to the maximum penalty under the law.
As we have made clear numerous times, Mr. Trump is creating the false impression that our client has given his consent for the use of his music, and even that he endorses the presidency of Mr. Trump. 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.”
Further, as we have also made clear, Mr. Trump needs our client’s express written permission in order to use his music. We demanded Mr. Tyler’s public performance societies terminate their licenses with you in 2015 in connection with “Dream On” and any other musical compositions written or co-written by Mr. Tyler. As such, we are unaware of any remaining public performance license still in existence which grants Mr. Trump the right use his music in connection with the Rallies or any other purpose. If Mr. Trump has any such license, please forward it to our attention immediately.
In addition, Mr. Tyler’s voice is easily recognizable and central to his identity, and any use thereof wrongfully misappropriates his rights of publicity. Mr. Trump does not have any right to use the name, image, voice or likeness of our client, without his express written permission.
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