A group of Republican supporting students from Ohio University have apologised for using a track by The National in a pro-Mitt Romney campaign video they made ahead of next week’s US Presidential elections. The students responded after the band’s Matt Berninger seemingly posted a comment on the political support group’s YouTube channel, noting both the group’s copyright infringement and his disdain for their politics.
According to Spin, the Republicans said: “We apologise for offending The National and their fans by using a cover/remix of the band’s melody for ‘Fake Empire’. We were attempting to reinvigorate and unite the disgruntled fans wary of supporting the President as they did in 2008 with ‘Signs Of Hope And Change’, with a new movement of people who believe in real recovery and reform in supporting Mitt Romney”.
Writing below the now removed YouTube video, Berninger had said: “Our music was used without our permission in this ad. The song you’re using was written about the same backward, con game policies Romney is proposing. We encourage all students to educate themselves about the differences between the inclusive, pro-social, compassionate, forward-thinking policies of President Obama and the self-serving politics of the neo-conservative movement and Mitt Romney. Every single person involved in the creation of the music you’re using is voting for President Obama”.
Artists frequently get tetchy when politicians use their music as part of campaigns. If tracks are used at rallies and events, often the artist cannot stop their music being used because political parties are covered by blanket licences. However, if a track is synced into a video then musicians usually can act.