Michele Bachmann Defies Tom Petty's Cease and Desist

Candidate plays 'American Girl' for 29 seconds at South Carolina campaign stop

June 29, 2011 12:20 PM ET
Michele Bachmann Defies Tom Petty's Cease and Desist
Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images(Petty), Steve Pope/Getty Images (Bachmann)

Tom Petty has asked Michele Bachmann to stop playing "American Girl" at her events – but according to Politico, she did it again yesterday at a campaign stop in South Carolina. The song began playing at the end of her speech, but abruptly ended after a mere 29 seconds, leaving only enough time for the lyrics "Yeah, she was an American Girl - raised on promises." "Walking on Sunshine" by Katrina and the Waves then started blasting out as Bachmann greeted supporters. It's unclear why such a short segment of "American Girl" played. Petty's camp says they will not comment on the matter, and a rep for the Bachmann campaign has not yet responded to our request for a comment. 

Michelle Bachmann's Holy War

The trouble started on Monday evening when Bachman played "American Girl" at the end of a speech in Iowa where she officially announced her presidential campaign. The Petty camp immediately sent the candidate a cease and desist letter, but the legal rights of politicians to play music at campaign events without the permission of the artists is unclear. Many legal experts feel that if the campaign buys a license from ASCAP they are allowed to play any song they want without seeking approval from the artist. Others argue that the use of a song at a campaign rally implies that the artist endorses the politician, and thus they must seek approval from the musician. The matter has yet to be tested before a judge, but most politicians stop the moment that an artist complains. 

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