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Dr Dre sets lawyers on Marjorie Taylor Greene over copyright infringement

By | Published on Tuesday 10 January 2023

Dr Dre

Dr Dre has sent a cease and desist letter to often controversial US Congress member Marjorie Taylor Greene after she used his track ‘Still DRE’ in a slightly bizarre promotional video on social media.

The two minute video shows Greene wandering around the halls of Congress and aims to big up her role in getting fellow Republican Kevin McCarthy elected as speaker of the House Of Representatives last week, a process which proved somewhat eventful.

All of this is soundtracked by the very distinct sounds of ‘Still DRE’. Although, Greene herself is keen to stress, only the instrumental elements of the track, none of the words.

Addressing the rapper via a statement issued to TMZ, the Trump loyalist stated: “While I appreciate the creative chord progression, I would never play your words of violence against women and police officers, and your glorification of the thug life and drugs”.

Of course, just because you appreciate a creative chord progression doesn’t mean you can use it in your political videos without getting permission from the relevant copyright owners.

Because, while the use of music at political events gets a little bit complicated because of the blanket licences issued by the music industry’s collecting societies, political videos posted to social media are more straightforward and a sync licence is required.

As a stern letter sent by Dre’s legal reps yesterday points out. “We write you on behalf of our client, Andre Young pka Dr Dre, composer and performer of the hit song ‘Still DRE'”, said letter begins.

“You are wrongfully exploiting this work through the various social media outlets to promote your divisive and hateful political agenda”, it adds. “Andre Young is the owner of the copyright in ‘Still DRE’, with the exclusive right to exploit same. Mr Young has not, and will never, grant you permission to broadcast or disseminate any of his music. The use of ‘Still DRE’ without permission constitutes copyright infringement”.

“One might expect that, as a member of Congress, you would have a passing familiarity with the laws of our country”, it continues. “It’s possible, though, that laws governing intellectual property are a little too arcane and insufficiently populist for you to really have spent much time on. We’re writing because we think an actual lawmaker should be making laws not breaking laws, especially those embodied in the constitution by the founding fathers”.

“The United States Copyright Act says a lot of things”, the letter then explains, “but one of the things it says is that you can’t use someone else’s song for your political campaign promotions unless you get permission from the owner of the copyright in the song, a step you failed to take. Demand is hereby made that you cease and desist from any further unauthorised use of Andre Young’s music”.

A takedown notice was seemingly also sent to Twitter which removed the video from the politician’s tweet. Though, for now at least, you can still watch it on the TMZ site here, if you can tolerate both the copyright infringement and the general weirdness of the video itself.