There’s a proud tradition in this country of Republican politicians playing songs at rallies or in commercials without getting the approval of the song’s writers/performers first. Just in 2015, we had the Dropkick Murphys say they “literally hate” Wisconsin governor Scott Walker, Neil Young taking on Donald Trump, Survivor getting mad at Mike Huckabee, Michael Stipe saying “go fuck yourself” to Donald Trump, and then Aerosmith also taking on Donald Trump, and that’s not counting any other instances we may have forgotten about. However, that’s all too mainstream for Rand Paul, the hippest presidential candidate. When he wants to rip off a song without permission, he goes obscure.
This comes from Variety, which reports that Paul’s campaign has received a cease and desist letter from Rockapella member Sean Altman over its use of the theme song from the Where In The World Is Carmen Sandiego? game show in an ad. Oh, you had a popular rock band’s song in your candidate’s commercial? That’s cool, but Rand Paul only uses artisanal game show themes.
The ad in question was an anti-Marco Rubio spot, criticizing him for missing too many Senate votes, and it revolves around a sample of the Carmen Sandiego song with the name replaced (very poorly) by someone saying “Marco Rubio.” Altman’s attorney told Paul’s campaign to remove the ad from its YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook pages, and though the campaign claims to have done that, the ad is still very easily viewable on YouTube and embedded in news stories like this one. Look, here it is!
The attorney has also asked the campaign to compensate Altman for using his song, and if it refuses to do that, then they will “not hesitate” to sue both Paul’s campaign and Paul himself.