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August 20, 2012  | by: Julia Cuozzo
Mitt Romney

This week, the band Silversun Pickups issued a cease-and desist order against Mitt Romney’s campaign for using their song, Panic Switch, at events. The band also issued the following statement:

“Seems as if the GOP is once again whimsically ignoring our great nation’s laws to do whatever it wants to do, and shooting itself in the foot in the process. Without any regard for copyright or intellectual property laws, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has, without permission, begun to use Silversun Pickups’ 2009 smash “Panic Switch” at campaign stops across the country. Neither the band nor its representatives were contacted to gain permission for the use of the song and the band has no intention of endorsing the Romney campaign. The band’s attorney issued a cease and desist today.

“We don’t like people going behind our backs, using our music without asking, and we don’t like the Romney campaign. We’re nice, approachable people. We won’t bite. Unless you’re Mitt Romney! We were very close to just letting this go because the irony was too good. While he is inadvertently playing a song that describes his whole campaign, we doubt that ‘Panic Switch’ really sends the message he intends.”

I also recommend you read the letter obtained by TMZ that the band’s lawyers sent over to the Romney campaign. It’s probably one of the most amusing pieces of lawyer talk you will read in your lifetime. Full of hilarious snarky comments that cut through the political jargon, this letter made me wonder if it was penned by the likes of a political correspondent from a Comedy Central news show.

Romney’s campaign quickly responded to the Huffington Post with the following statement:

 “The song was inadvertently played during event set-up before Gov. Romney arrived at the location. As anyone who attends Gov. Romney’s events knows, this is not a song we would have played intentionally. That said, it was covered under the campaign’s regular blanket license, but we will not play it again.”

And just when you thought the 2012 Republican Presidential Campaign was finished fighting with the music industry for the week, Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine fame, wrote a scathing op-ed piece for Rolling Stone about Vice-Presidential candidate, Paul Ryan. Morello refers to Ryan as “…the embodiment of the machine that our music has been raging against for two decades.” Morello wrote the piece after RATM was cited as one of Paul Ryan’s favorite bands by the New York Times in an article with the headline : A Conservative Star’s Small-Town Roots which ran on August 13th.

I honestly believe that the Silversun Pickups incident was an accident, what do you think? Was all of this hodgepodge the result of the Romney-Ryan ticket trying to reach the younger voters? Do you feel sorry for Paul Ryan? After all, if one of my favorite bands ripped me a new one like that, I’d probably be devastated.

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