After publicly telling him to stop using “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” during his 2016 presidential campaign, Trump played the song during his lightly attended rally in Tulsa last Saturday. Now, the Stones’ legal team and performing rights organization BMI have sent a firmer message to the president’s team, threatening a lawsuit if he continues to play the band’s music without permission.
“BMI have notified the Trump campaign on behalf of the Stones that the unauthorized use of their songs will constitute a breach of its licensing agreement,” the Rolling Stones rep said in a statement. “If Donald Trump disregards the exclusion and persists then he would face a lawsuit for breaking the embargo and playing music that has not been licensed.”
BMI further explained Trump’s access to its music library to Deadline. “The Trump campaign has a Political Entities License which authorizes the public performance of more than 15 million musical works in BMI’s repertoire wherever campaign events occur,” a rep explained. “There is a provision, however, that allows BMI to exclude musical works from the license if a songwriter or publisher objects to its use by a campaign. BMI has received such an objection and sent a letter notifying the Trump campaign that the Rolling Stones’ works have been removed from the campaign license, and advising the campaign that any future use of these musical compositions will be in breach of its license agreement with BMI.”
“You Can’t Always Get What You Want” isn’t the only song that Trump got slammed for using during his June 20 rally. Tom Petty’s estate also rebuked his use of “I Won’t Back Down.” Earlier this month, the Village People also told the president to stop using their music at events.