MAR 7, 2012 – The Canadian rock trio Rush, whose songs were being used by talk show host Rush Limbaugh as "bumpers" for his show, has received a letter from Rush's management demanding that Limbaugh immediately stop using any of the band's music in his show. The letter points out how using their music in a political show is a copyright infringement, and more importantly the band does not want people to assume that the band endorses or supports the hateful rhetoric Limbaugh engages in. (photo credit: Enrico Frangi/Wiki)
Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson and Neil Peart have dabbled in activism over the years. They helped raise money during Canada's SARS outbreak in 2003, and donated money to the Canadian Museum of Human Rights. Geddy Lee, being a huge baseball fan, donated baseballs signed by legendary black baseball players to the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum. The guitarist, Alex Lifeson, developed a line of amplifiers stating that a donation would be made to UNICEF for every amp sold. Also, they are very involved with Grapes for Humanity Canada, where they help tragedy victims around the world, and "helping these victims become self-sufficient citizens of the world".
Here is the letter that was sent to Rush Limbaugh:
The Rush Limbaugh Show
1270 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10020
Ladies & Gentlemen:
I am the attorney for Rush, their management company, S.R.O. Management Inc., their music publishing company, Core Music Publishing and their record company, The Anthem Entertainment Group Inc.
According to media reports, Rush Limbaugh, Premiere Radio Networks and The Rush Limbaugh Show have been using Rush’s recorded music as part of what is essentially a political broadcast.
The use of Rush’s music in this way is an infringement of Rush’s copyrights and trademarks. The public performance of Rush’s music is not licensed for political purposes and any such use is in breach of public performance licenses and constitutes copyright infringement. There are civil and criminal remedies for copyright infringement, including statutory damages and fines.
In addition, the use of Rush’s music in this manner implies an endorsement of the views expressed and products advertised on the show, and is in breach of not only copyright and trademark rights, but also, of section 51 of the New York Civil Rights Law (excerpt attached). Accordingly, we hereby demand that you immediately stop all use of Rush’s music and confirm that you will do so.
Yours very truly,
Robert A. Farmer
Director of Legal Affairs
S.R.O. Management Inc., Core Music Publishing
The Anthem Entertainment Group Inc.
Here is Rush at the SARS benefit concert in 2003: