11/14/2010

Political campaigns' use of music

The 2010 election changed the makeup of the House of Representatives . . . and added a subtopic to copyright law. On the heals of the article noted in the previous post comes word that the Georgetown Law Journal will be publishing The Barracuda Lacuna: Music, Political Campaigns, and the First Amendment by Sarah Schacter. Her Note
. . . is about the First Amendment issues that are raised when political candidates use music in conjunction with political campaigns without the consent of songwriters and recording artists. Sometimes, based on the circumstances, copyright law provides a clear remedy for a contested use. Other times, however, an artist will have to look to other legal doctrines for a remedy. Although there are other doctrines that the musical artist may invoke, this Note will demonstrate that these alternative avenues of relief are inadequate to protect the artist and also flawed in that they fail to fully address the unique First Amendment concerns that arise in such a scenario. There is, thus, a lacuna in this area of the law - a "gap" that Congress must fill.