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8 politicians scolded by musicians over song use

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Musical duo Axwell and Ingrosso were quick to let it be known they didn't appreciate hearing their hit electronic number "Something New" playing for the crowds at Freedom Tower immediately after Marco Rubio announced he was running for president Monday.

The Florida senator, who apparently favors electronic dance music in addition to rap, didn't get permission from the two former Swedish House Mafia musicians before blasting it at his Miami rally, and was rebuked by the duo just a day later.

"Axwell ^ Ingrosso didn't give their permission for this song to be used and don't want to be affiliated with a particular party during the upcoming presidential race," the band said in a statement Tuesday.

Mitt Romney asked to quit using 'Eye of the Tiger,' among others

Justin sullivan, Getty Images

The Mitt Romney campaign is a repeat offender when it comes to upsetting artists by using their songs without permission

The Romney camp's use of Survivor's "Eye of the Tiger," K'naan's "Wavin' Flag," and Silversun Pickups' "Panic Switch" have all gotten the former Massachusetts governor into a spot of trouble with the artists.

After Romney used their song during a 2012 campaign event, Silversun Pickups went so far as to send a cease-and-desist letter to the presidential hopeful.

"Seems as if the GOP is once again whimsically ignoring our great nation's laws to do whatever it wants to do, and shooting itself in the foot in the process," band representative Ken Weinstein said in a statement.

"We don't like people going behind our backs, using our music without asking, and we don't like the Romney campaign," singer and guitarist Brian Aubert added.

And while others might not have threatened legal action, they raised enough of a public outcry to warrant attention.

"I have not been asked for permission by Mitt Romney's campaign for the use of my song. If I had been asked, I would certainly not have granted it," rapper K'naan also said in 2012. "I would happily grant the Obama campaign use of my song without prejudice."

Shortly after, Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul said the campaign would stop using the songs to be respectful to the artists' political views. Though the campaign claimed they had bought "blanket licenses" from performing rights organizations ASCAP and BMI, according to legal experts, the former Bain executive could still face legitimate legal concerns.

But the Romney campaign learned its lesson: later, when they wanted to use Kid Rock's "Born Free," they went straight to the artist. After the rock star OK'd the use of the song as Romney's theme music, Kid Rock even performed it in Michigan in 2012.

"Eye of the Tiger" also got Newt Gingrich into trouble

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In 2012, Survivor founding member Frank Sullivan sued Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich over the use of "Eye of the Tiger" during his campaign.

The campaign's playing of the "Rocky" theme song, claimed Sullivan, violated copyright at various campaign events, including at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). The American Conservative Union, which hosts CPAC, was also targeted in the lawsuit.

The lawsuit charged that the former House Speaker, who has himself penned more than 40 copyrighted works, "is sophisticated and knowledgeable concerning the copyright laws" and has been violating the law since 2009. Sullivan sought a court-ordered ban on Gingrich from using the song, and asked for "damages in an amount to be determined by the court."

Gingrich denied breaking the law, saying that the recordings were exempted under fair use.

John McCain camp "running on empty"

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In 2008, Jackson Browne sued presidential candidate John McCain, the Ohio Republican Party, and the Republican National Committee over the song "Running on Empty." The Arizona senator had used the song, without permission, in a campaign ad that aired in Ohio and Pennsylvania and was also published on the Internet. After defendant motions to have the case dismissed, it was settled out of court for an undisclosed sum of money. Republicans issued a public apology and further promised "to respect and uphold the rights of artists and to obtain permissions and/or licenses for copyrighted works where appropriate."

"I'm really happy that we got this statement from them," Browne said after the GOP apologized for using the 1977 hit song. "It's great to have it affirmed that these [copyright and usage] laws stand. I've had an idea of how my songs are protected and how money is collected and how making a living as a musician works for my whole career, and it's great to have it affirmed and to know that we're absolutely right in standing up to them."

Lawrence Iser, the attorney that represented Browne in the case, thinks instances like these will serve to warn future presidential campaigns.

"You would hope that by this point having had several lawsuits, that as the various campaigns gear up for 2016, they're going to respect artist's wishes," Iser told CBS News.

But the copyright attorney, who's made a name for himself representing celebrities over intellectual property claims, doesn't think the issue will go away in the near future.

"Someone's going to test that issue," Iser predicts. "Post-napster, musicians and record companies are more attuned to copyright and licenses[...] and what's offensive to many musical artists is when they're not asked. Musicians and movie stars are famously often quite political."

Sarah "Barracuda" Palin unpopular with the Hearts

Getty Images, Joe Raedle

The former vice presidential candidate to John McCain received some heat after taking on the Heart song "Barracuda" as her official theme song in 2008.

Though the campaign thought it appropriate given Palin's nickname was "Sarah Barracuda" when playing high school basketball, lead Heart guitarists Nancy and Ann Wilson didn't think the same.

"Sarah Palin's views and values in no way represent us as American women," Ann and Nancy Wilson said in 2008, after the Alaska governor's convention speech. "We ask that our song 'Barracuda' no longer be used to promote her image. The song 'Barracuda' was written in the late '70s as a scathing rant against the soulless, corporate nature of the music business, particularly for women. (The 'barracuda' represented the business.) While Heart did not and would not authorize the use of their song at the RNC, there's irony in Republican strategists' choice to make use of it there."

The McCain campaign, however, decided to continue to use the song, saying that it had paid for and obtained all the necessary licenses.

Michelle Bachmann isn’t Tom Petty’s type of “American Girl”

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Tom Petty issued a "cease and desist" letter in 2011 to Michele Bachmann for her use of the song "American Girl."

The rocker's manager asked the Republican presidential candidate to stop using his 1977 hit after it was played during her campaign's kickoff event.

But according to a Politico report, the Minnesota representative didn't let that stop her: the campaign continued to play a 29-second clip of the song during a campaign stop in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. There was just enough time to hear a few lyrics -- "Yeah, she was an American Girl, raised on promises" -- before the song abruptly cut out to Katrina and the Waves' "Walking on Sunshine."

Tom Petty also asked George W. Bush not to use his song


Tom Petty's song "I Won't Back Down" was used during Bush's campaign in 2000, much to the dismay of the musician. Petty's publisher sent a cease-and-desist letter to the Bush camp, saying that it implied a Bush endorsement when the artist had not given one. The Republican presidential candidate backed down after the legal threat.

John Mellencamp and Sting have also asked Bush to stop using their songs.

Ronald Reagan chastised over "Born in the U.S.A."

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When Ronald Reagan told a New Jersey crowd in 1984 that America's future "rests in the message of hope in the songs of a man so many young Americans admire: New Jersey's own Bruce Springsteen," the former president must have misunderstood the lyrics to the popular "Born in the U.S.A."

Springsteen didn't take kindly to the shout-out. When the singer got on a stage shortly after Reagan's campaign mention, he lashed out at the then-presidential candidate.

"Well, the president was mentioning my name in his speech the other day," Springsteen told an audience in Pittsburgh. "And I kind of got to wondering what his favorite album of mine must've been, you know? I don't think it was the Nebraska album. I don't think he's been listening to this one."

The rock star also took to chastising the Reagan camp in interviews, just as the president's 1984 campaign was heating up.

"I think people got a need to feel good about the country they live in. But what's happening, I think, is that that need -- which is a good thing -- is getting manipulated and exploited," Springsteen later told Rolling Stone. "You see in the Reagan election ads on TV, you know, 'It's morning in America,' and you say, 'Well, it's not morning in Pittsburgh.'"

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