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When Music and Politics don’t mix

Rihanna music publisher removes her songs from Trump campaign license
BY MORGAN GSTALTER – 11/10/18 08:42 AM EST

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Pop star Rihanna won a legal victory over President Trump this week after her performing rights company Broadcast Music Inc., (BMI) informed the Trump campaign that it can no longer use her music at events.

BMI removed Rihanna’s music from the blanket “political entities license” agreement which previously gave Trump’s campaign the right to play Rihanna songs during his campaign events and rallies, the Los Angeles Times reported Friday.

“As such … this letter serves as notice that Rihanna’s musical works are excluded from the [political entities] Agreement, and any performance of Rihanna’s musical works by the Trump Campaign from this date forward is not authorized by BMI.”

The letter, addressed to senior members of Trump’s campaign, comes days after the singer vowed that her songs would no longer be played at Trump’s “tragic rallies.”

Rihanna first became aware that her hit song “Don’t Stop the Music” was playing before a Trump rally in Tallahassee, Fla., last week.

Washington Post correspondent Philip Rucker tweeted that Rihanna’s song was “blaring” in the stadium and that Trump aides were tossing free T-shirts into the crowd like they were at a baseball game.

“Not for much longer,” Rihanna responded on Twitter. “Me nor my people would ever be at or around one of those tragic rallies.”

When the same song was played again during another rally in Chattanooga, Tenn., her legal team sent Trump an official cease-and-desist letter.

“As you are or should be aware, Ms. Fenty has not provided her consent to Mr. Trump to use her music. Such use is therefore improper,” the letter obtained by Rolling Stone read.

Rihanna is an outspoken Democratic supporter who endorsed Andrew Gillum ahead of Florida’s contentious gubernatorial race.

She’s not the first musician who has fought back against Trump for using their songs during his political rallies.

Pharrell Williams reportedly sent Trump a cease-and-desist warning after his song “Happy” was played at a rally just hours after the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting.

Guns N’ Roses frontman Axl Rose called out the president for playing their music even after the band formally requested that he stop.

“Unfortunately the Trump campaign is using loopholes in the various venues’ blanket performance licenses which were not intended for such craven political purposes, without the songwriters’ consent,” Rose wrote on Twitter. “Can u say ‘shitbags?!’”

Other musicians include Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler, Twisted Sister, Elton John and members of Prince’s estate.

Source: https://thehill.com/blogs/in-the-know/in-the-know/416051-rihannas-music-publisher-removes-her-songs-from-trumps-campaign

Canadian Independent Publisher Ole Acquires a 50% Ownership Stake In SB21

Ashley King | November 11, 2018

ole_logoIndependent music publisher ole has reached a deal with SB21 Music Publishing to acquire 50% ownership of its music catalog.

The Canadian publisher will also control all songwriter contracts and administration rights to the full catalog, according to details shared ahead of the weekend. SB21’s music catalog includes hits from Luke Bryan, Danny Gokey, Jason Aldean, and Jordan Davis.

The SB21 catalog in question contains more than 2,500 songs.

Ole’s Vice President of Creative John Ozier and SB21 founder owner and founder Teresa Smith both heralded the deal as a way to spur greater growth in placements and resulting revenue. “The writers and partners of SB21 are very proud and excited to be working with ole in taking the SB21 songs to places where the music will be given the opportunity to speak for itself,” Smith stated.

“We are honored to be joining ole’s distinguished roster, and cannot wait to see the incredible things that the future will bring for this catalog.”

SB21 was founded in 2011 by songwriter and producer Steve Pasch. The company’s catalog of songs includes works from songwriters like Brian White who wrote Rodney Adkins’ “Watching You,” and David Fraiser who wrote Luke Bryan’s recent hit “Most People Are Good.”

Ole is a Canadian independent music rights management firm that was founded in 2004. The company has offices in Toronto, Nashville, New York, Los Angeles, and London. Ole’s umbrella of works contains more than 55,000 songs, and it operates a label services arm under the ole label group.

The label group division includes anthem, anthem Legacy, and red dot.

The acquisition not all that surprising, despite the fact that ole was looking for a new equity sponsor in 2017. Ole sought an overall valuation of $800 million during that recapitalization process. During the process, the company confirmed that it would include “seeking acquisitions that make strategic sense.”

Now that the recapitalization process has been completed, SB21 could be the first of many indie publisher acquisitions and deals.

Source: https://www.digitalmusicnews.com/2018/11/11/ole-sb21/