TWISTED SISTER frontman Dee Snider says that the Australian politician accused of rewriting the band's song without permission initially got in touch with the singer's publishing company about licensing the track before ignoring the advice and recording it anyway.
Snider tweeted: "@CliveFPalmer @PalmerUtdParty contacted my publishing company @UMG about licensing the song (which means they were aware that they had to) were told the licensing fee…THEN WENT OFF AND RECORDED IT WITHOUT A LICENSE! They can't even claim ignorance!"
Clive Palmer, a conservative politician and mining magnate, used the music from "We're Not Gonna Take It" in a national marketing campaign for his United Australia Party, changing the words to "Australia ain't gonna cop it."
TWISTED SISTER guitarist Jay Jay French said that the band had not been informed that its music would be used for political purposes.
"We have no idea who this guy is," French said. "This use is unauthorized, and we will do our best to stop it."
Palmer responded by also threatening to sue.
"I wrote the words personally that appear on our promotion and hold the copyright for those words," Palmer told The Sydney Morning Herald.
"If [TWISTED SISTER] attempt to use my lyrics in any of their songs, I'll not hesitate to take legal proceedings against them. As foreigners, they should stay out of Australian domestic politics and stay where they are. Aussies are not going to cop it at all!"
Palmer also took a shot at Snider, claiming that the singer's upcoming Australian solo tour had been slow to sell tickets. "This is understandable given how long ago they had any influence in the world of music," he said.
Snider will perform four shows in Australia at the end of January.
Dr. Bruce Baer Arnold, lawyer and copyright expert at the University of Canberra, told 3AW that Palmer could be forced to pay compensation to the band.
"I think Clive is toast," Arnold said. "What we've got here with copyright in the words [is that] Clive [wrote] his own words, but you've also got copyright in the tune. He's taking without authorization — as far as we know without any payment, he's taken the tune. He's using it and getting a benefit from it. A court would say you're using someone else's property without their authorization, [and] you need to provide compensation. He appears to just have gone ahead and ripped them off, and he's not going to win in court on that basis."
In 2003, Snider granted permission for Arnold Schwarzenegger to use "We're Not Gonna Take It" during his California gubernatorial contest, yet raised a fuss back in 2012 when Rep. Paul Ryan used the song during a GOP rally. Snider went on to allow then-Presidential candidate Donald Trump to play "We're Not Gonna Take It" at his own 2015 campaign events. However, as the campaign raged on, Snider began to develop a greater understanding of Trump's ideology and changed his mind.
Oh it's worst than that! @CliveFPalmer @PalmerUtdParty contacted my publishing company @UMG about licensing the song (which means they were aware that they had to) were told the licensing fee...THEN WENT OFF AND RECORDED IT WITHOUT A LICENSE! They can't even claim ignorance! https://t.co/dLAfOhCWLi— Dee Snider (@deesnider) January 3, 2019