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Steven Tyler Just Turned The Legal Heat On Trump To Get Him To Stop Playing Aerosmith Music At Rallies

Steven Tyler, the lead singer of Aerosmith, has issued a “cease and desist” letter to the White House, demanding President Trump stop using his songs at political rallies.

The letter came following Trump’s August 21 rally at the Charleston Civic Center in West Virginia, where Jim Acosta reported Aerosmith’s “Livin’ on the Edge” was playing as Trump supporters entered the venue.

Through his attorney, Dina LaPolt, Tyler accused the President of “willful infringement in broadcasting the song, which was written by Tyler, Joe Perry and Mark Hudson.”

Tyler referenced 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.”

In simple terms, the “cease and desist” letter claimed that, by playing Aerosmith songs at his rallies, Trump is giving the false impression of an endorsement by the band.

During the 2015 campaign, Tyler and Trump butted heads similarly over the use of Aerosmith’s “Dream On.” At the time, Tyler’s lawyer wrote to the Trump campaign, saying:

Trump for President needs our client’s express written permission in order to use his music.

When this didn’t solve the problem, the band “pulled the public performance rights for the song.” 

The letter from Tyler’s lawyer to Donald Trump reads:

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.

To all the Trump supporters who enjoyed hearing Aerosmith’s music at Trump rallies, Tyler has but one thing to say:

H/T – Variety, Rolling Stone


Written by Collin Gossel

Collin Gossel is a writer and comedian living in Brooklyn, New York, but there are nights when he looks up at the stars and wistfully thinks to himself “there’s got to be more out there…” You can catch Collin improvising new musicals every Tuesday night at the Magnet Theater’s Musical Megawatt, or follow his unfiltered thoughts on Twitter and Instagram @CollinGossel.--