Jan 10, 2023

Copyright Infringement: Not What Dr Dre Ordered

There has been a long history of politicians using well-known music, usually in campaign adverts or at rallies, without permission and with such use subsequently being objected to by the artist. The objection is normally on political grounds, as invariably the musician does not agree with the views or record of the politician in question. A further example can be added to this long list as rapper Dr Dre has objected to the use of his song ‘Still Dre’ by Republican Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene.

Ms Greene used an instrumental from the song in a self-promotional video shared on her Twitter account on 9 January 2023. Dr Dre and his lawyers acted very quickly upon the release of the video and wrote a cease and desist letter to Ms Greene accusing her of exploiting Dre’s work. In a sign of the real issue behind the dispute, the letter went on to say she was exploiting the work to promote her ‘divisive and hateful political agenda’ and said Dre had not and would not ever grant her permission to use his music.

The video was then removed from Twitter and Greene temporarily suspended from her account. When she was allowed back in she posted a statement to her Twitter hitting back at Dr Dre stating that whilst she appreciated his instrumental she ‘would never play your words of violence against women and police officers and your glorification of the thug life and drugs.’

This story, whilst in some ways amusing, serves as a reminder that one important factor when considering litigation is how your actions might appear to your customers or audience. Whilst undoubtedly in the wrong from a legal point of view it is likely that this dispute and the publicity it has garnered has in fact done no harm to Ms Greene in the eyes of her supporters.

If you have any questions on the above, please do not hesitate to contact the team at McDaniels Law on 0191 281 4000 or legal@mcdanielslaw.com.

in: Case Law, Copyright, EU/International, Legal News, News

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