Published Aug 22, 2018While Steven Tyler recently revealed himself as a fan of rising Canadian star Jessie Reyez, the Aerosmith frontman is not a fan of Donald Trump playing his music at supporter rallies.
Variety reports that Tyler sent a cease-and-desist letter to the White House through his lawyer Dina LaPolt after the band's 1993 hit "Livin' on the Edge" was played at Trump's rally in Charleston, West Virginia, yesterday (August 21).
Tyler has accused the president of willful infringement by playing the song, with his lawyer contending that the broadcast of the song gives the false impression that Tyler endorses Trump's presidency.
The singer's letter cited the Lanham act, which prohibits "any false designation or misleading description or representation of fact … likely to cause confusion … as to the affiliation, connection, or association of such person with another person."
Tyler had previously taken issue with Trump's use of "Dream On" back in 2015, with BMI eventually pulling public performance rights for the song.
Tyler isn't the first musician to contend Trump's use of music, with Queen's Brian May and R.E.M. also vocalizing their opposition in years past.
Read portions of Tyler's letter to the White House [via Variety] below.
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.