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Bush steals songwriter’s copyright

1 November 2004

Our favourite IP blog IPKat notes that those naughty Republicans have been caught creating yet another dodgy election ad.

This time, the Bush team stands accused of using a hit song without the songwriter’s permission, thereby bringing the tune into disrepute through close association to Republican political ideals.

John Hall, the writer of the 1970s hit ‘Still the One’ has demanded that the cheery tune is no longer used at campaign events, arguing that he's no fan of the president and the campaign never got permission to use the song.

"I was watching TV, and there all of a sudden was my song, my guitar playing, my voice coming out of the speakers," said the 56-year-old Hall, still a working musician. Hall wrote "Still the One" with his then-wife, Johanna D. Hall. The two as well as surviving members of the band are supporters of Democratic Senator John Kerry and don't want their work used to promote Bush's re-election, Hall said.

"I'm not just some guy that's stoned out and happened to write a song, and even if I were, it would still be a problem, because you should always ask permission to use the work," Hall said.

Among Hall's concerns is that political use of the song could hurt its commercial appeal, scaring away advertisers. ‘Still the One’ has been used by Appleby's, Burger King and the ABC network, according to Hall.

Hall's lawyers have drafted a formal letter of complaint to the Bush campaign. A spokesman for the Republican did not immediately return calls for comment.

Meanwhile, the Bush campaign was embarrassed by the revelation that it had doctored an image on its website to show a mass of soldiers listening to Bush’s presidential address, according to reports from CNN, which show the image and its clear duplication of numerous of the soldiers’ faces.

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