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Pharrell Williams holds the copyright to his song “Happy” and he’s not afraid to use it. The singer has not so gently requested that President Donald Trump quit playing that specific song at his rallies for Republican candidates around the country.
The Los Angeles Times reported that Williams’ attorney sent a cease-and-desist letter to the president after Trump played “Happy” at his Saturday political rally in Murphysboro, Ill.
“On the day of the mass murder of 11 human beings at the hands of a deranged ‘nationalist,’ you played his song ‘Happy’ to a crowd at a political event in Indiana,” Williams’ attorney Howard E. King wrote in the letter. “There was nothing ‘happy’ about the tragedy inflicted upon our country on Saturday and no permission was granted for your use of this song for this purpose.”…
“Pharrell has not, and will not, grant you permission to publicly perform or otherwise broadcast or disseminate any of his music,” King wrote. “The use of ‘Happy’ without permission constitutes copyright infringement.”
The holder of any copyright is, of course, free to refuse the use of his or her intellectual property to be used by anyone, anywhere, but what these space cadet “artists” will not admit or even acknowledge is that by doing so, they alienate members of their own fan bases, people who will never again pay for a concert ticket or a download of the copyright holder’s music, writing or art.
It’s called biting the hand that feeds you.
The truth of the matter is that while the shooting in Pittsburgh was a tragedy, and there is no doubt that it was, such incidents do not mean that life simply stops. No one was happy that eleven people died because some nutjob – who was NOT a Trump supporter, by the way – opened fire in a place of worship. No one. But that does not mean life stops for everyone else.