Artist News Legal

MGMT take on French government

By | Published on Thursday 26 February 2009

MGMT have hit out at French president Nicolas Sarkozy’s UMP party for repeatedly using their song ‘Kids’ without permission. They say the cheeky song stealing is ironic given the UMP is behind the hardline anti-filesharing rules that are being introduced in France.

MGMT’s French lawyer told Le Monde: “It seems that those who led the charge against internet users are not the most respectful of copyright”. He highlighted two meetings in January where the song had been used, as well as videos on the party’s website, where the song was used without express permission from the band.

Of course, the chances are that both the event and website were covered by blanket licences, which is normally the case when political types use music without an artist’s permission. Certainly that’s what the party’s new secretary general, Xavier Bertrand, says.

He responded to MGMT’s complaints by saying that the use of the song was cleared with French royalty collection agency SACEM, adding: “The UMP is very respectful of copyright. Compensation has to be expected … and we are presently looking at whether the band was fairly compensated”.

Given that when political parties use known songs it sort of implies featured artists endorse them, some reckon blanket licences shouldn’t cover events or media staged or owned by political parties.