Thursday, October 6, 2011

Sony to Nicaraguan president: “Stand” away from copycat song

The use of music in presidential campaigns can sometimes be a tricky situation pitting musicians against politicos. The likes of Bruce Springsteen and Tom Petty have butted heads with U.S. presidential hopefuls while last year Colombian artist Juanes denounced the use of one of his hit songs for the reelection campaign of president Juan Manuel Santos.

According to the latest polls incumbent Nicaraguan president Daniel Ortega has a solid chance of winning in the first round of elections on November 6th. Nevertheless Ortega and his main rivals have been running very intense campaigns seeking any advantage possible including catchy jingles. Music fans will surely be familiar with the song copied in Ortega’s jingle entitled “Nicaragua Will Triumph”:

The use of “Stand by Me” in Ortega’s campaign song did not sit well with Sony Music, which reportedly sent a cease and desist letter to the head of Ortega’s party in the legislature. “We don’t allow our songs to be used by political campaigns,” said Sony/ATV Music spokesman Jimmy Asci to Bloomberg. The statement also claimed that the use of the classic Ben E. King song was a “serious infringement” of Sony’s copyright and that the company could take legal action to prevent its future use.

Thus far there has been no response from Ortega or any of his campaign organizers to Sony’s letter. In addition, King has yet to make a public declaration on the song controversy.

Video Source - YouTube
Online Sources – The Latin Americanist,, El Nuevo Herald AFP, ABC News, Bloomberg

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