AEROSMITH singer Steven Tyler has explained his decision to take Donald Trump to task once again for using AEROSMITH's songs at his rallies. On Tuesday (August 21), during his appearance at West Virginia's Charleston Civic Center, AEROSMITH's "Livin' On The Edge" was blasted through the arena as the crowd filed in. Tyler's attorney has in turn sent a "cease and desist" letter to the White House accusing the President of willful infringement in broadcasting the song. The singer is citing the Lanham Act, which states that trademark infringement can occur if the use of a song by a politician is likely to create confusion in the marketplace that the musician endorses the politician, especially if this association harms the musician's reputation (referred to as "dilution by tarnishment").
Tyler denied that his move was politically biased, writing in a tweet: "This is not about Dems vs. Repub. 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."
He added in a separate tweet: "This is one of the reasons why [AEROSMITH guitarist Joe Perry] and i have been pushing the senate to pass the Music Modernization Act," referring to a bill that could ensure digital music services pay fair royalties to rights holders while giving streaming companies certainty, legal protection and more efficient payment tools
"No is a complete sentence," he concluded.
Back in 2015, Trump and Tyler butted heads over the same issue when AEROSMITH's 1973 classic "Dream On" was used at Trump rallies, in which Tyler formally pressed the campaign to stop using his songs as it violated his copyright. BMI eventually squashed the issue by pulling the performance rights for the song. There is no word as to whether Tyler will demand the rights to "Livin' On The Edge" — which is administered through ASCAP — to also be pulled.
Tyler is reportedly a registered Republican and attended the first GOP debate back in August 2015.
THIS IS NOT ABOUT DEMS VS. REPUB. 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.— Steven Tyler (@IamStevenT) August 22, 2018