Donald Trump doesn’t seem like the typical Adele fan. And Adele’s music certainly doesn’t seem like the type to inspire political supporters at a rally. Unless you’d like to make those supporters cry.
Trump apparently isn’t a fan of her tearjerkers, however. “Skyfall,” from the James Bond film, is on his “pre-rally playlist,” CNN noted. He also took the stage recently to the sounds of “Rolling in the Deep,” most recently at an event in Iowa.
But the British singer, who has described herself as a socialist/democratic “Labour girl,” is ticked off and recently demanded that the Donald stop playing her songs, the Guardian reported.
“Adele has not given permission for her music to be used for any political campaigning,” her spokesman said. The singer hasn’t gone so far as to threaten a lawsuit.
Since Donald began using these songs at his rallies, her fans began scratching their heads in confusion, since the two made odd bedfellows. One fan tweeted that she was “offended on Adele’s behalf,” and another predicted that “she would not be pleased.”
Indeed, she wasn’t, but when asked whether or not Adele was formally asking the Donald to stop using her music, her spokesman went mum. Trouble is, many legal experts have agreed that she doesn’t have leg to stand on. Trump hasn’t technically done anything wrong, and he’s legally allowed to play whatever tune strikes his fancy.
If people thought that “Skyfall” blaring through a rally meant Adele was a Donald supporter, she may have a case, said entertainment lawyer Steve Gordon.
“If she’s coming out publicly against using her music, then she’s not endorsing him so no one would think she was. If I was his lawyer, he’s got a strong case, and she’s got a BS claim. If they tried to do anything legally … at the end of the day, she’d lose.”
And there’s nothing she can do, even if she and Trump have completely different political views. Even if she becomes as irate as R.E.M.’s Michael Stipe did after the Donald used “It’s the End of the World As We Know It” at a rally and told his campaign to “Go f**k yourselves, the lot of you – you sad, attention-grabbing, power-hungry little men.”
She can’t make Trump stop, even then. Although Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler sent Trump a cease and desist letter, notifying him he didn’t have permission to use “Dream On,” and that worked. The singer claimed that playing the tune gave “the false impression that he is connected with, or endorses, Mr Trump’s presidential bid.”
The sticking point for the crooner lies with the fact that venues, like the ones where Donald Trump holds his rallies, have blanket licensing agreements that don’t pick and choose which songs people who have events there can and can’t play, attorneys explained to U.S. News and World Report. Nobody needs Adele’s blessing in this circumstance.
“A venue like a stadium does not want to purchase a ‘blanket license’ from BMI (which lists Adele’s music), only to find out that there is a list of hundreds of songs that it can’t allow to be played at particular types of events – that’s the kind of administrative nightmare that blanket licenses are designed to avoid,” explained law professor Robert Brauneis.
And if Adele wanted to withdraw her songs from the BMI roster, she’d lose a lot of income.
The cease and desist letter only works because it embarrasses politicians publicly, but Adele’s claim that using “Rolling in the Deep” implies she’s a Donald Trump supporter falls flat, because no one in their right mind would make that mistake.
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