This appears at the end of a PSA that Bogart and his co-horts have put together for their new “won’t back down” campaign.
Here’s the problem..besides the fact they can’t spell.
They used the song “Won’t Back Down” from Tom Petty…(re-recorded very badly by someone else). They obviously did not get permission and think because it’s a PSA it falls under “Fair Useage”. They are wrong.
you need at least three licenses for each song (a) a license from the owner of the copyright in the composition (the songwriters and/or their publishers), (b) a license from the owner of the master recording (usually a record label), and (c) a license from the performers. Further—-and this is very important—you should not assume that you will be able to obtain the licenses that you need. It is quite common for songwriters and/or their publishers, to reject requests for licenses if they think that the use might harm their reputations and/or reduce the value of the song for purposes of future placements in films, movies, commercials and/or other uses. Likewise, record labels or performers might not want to be associated with your public service announcements, and they have no obligation to do so.
Thus, it might prove unfortunate that you created public service announcements before acquiring the rights to use the songs. It is quite possible that you will be unable to obtain the rights to use songs which you have already incorporated into your public service announcements. If so, you may have to create new public service announcements using different songs. It is always better to “pre-clear” the songs which you want to use in a project such as this.
Finally, as my colleague notes, it does not matter from a legal standpoint that you are making public service announcements in support of a good cause. The copyright laws do not provide any special status for public service announcements of this kind—-if you want to use popular songs you will have to acquire a license. Perhaps you will be able to convince the owners of copyrights to grant you permissions to use the song without compensation—but the owners of copyrights have no obligation to do so. Indeed, as I said above, the copyright owners can decide that they do not want to be associated with you and your announcements, and they can refuse to grant you permission to use their songs.
One thing is clear in a situation like this–you should not proceed further without retaining the services of IP counsel. If you make a mistake on these issues, you could face a very expensive law suit. The investment you make in IP counsel now will save you significant amounts of both money and aggravation in the future.
The little disclaimer at the end does NOT justify stealing someone’s work. But I wouldn’t really expect a DJ to understand that.
And Bogart is so stupid he picks an artist that is INCREDIBLY protective of his work.
Here.. Tom talks about copyright infringement
“…’Cause you go to a lot of trouble to make records. Ya know. I’d be like taking bits of somebody’s painting and putting ‘em into yours or something, ya know. Or a book, like lift a chapter of, ya know, Moby Dick and put it in here, that’s alright. It was only… it was only four paragraphs!” -Tom Petty
And he’s gone after two politicians.
And then there was Goodrich who just used a song that SOUNDED like one of his:
In 1987, Petty sued tire company B.F. Goodrich for $1 million for using a song very similar to his song “Mary’s New Car” in a TV commercial. The ad agency that produced the commercial had previously sought permission to use Petty’s song but was refused. A judge issued a temporary restraining order prohibiting further use of the ad and the suit was later settled out of court.