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Steven Tyler tells Donald Trump to stop playing Aerosmith’s ‘Livin’ on the Edge’ at rallies

August 22, 2018

Aerosmith singer Steven Tyler sent a cease-and-desist letter to the White House on Wednesday after President Trump used one of his songs without permission.

Mr. Tyler, 70, sent the letter through his attorney Dina LaPolt after learning that the Aerosmith song “Livin’ on the Edge” was played during a rally held by the president Tuesday evening in Charleston, West Virginia, Variety first reported.

“Mr. Trump does not have our client’s permission to use any of our client’s music, including ‘Livin’ On The Edge,’” Mr. Tyler’s attorney wrote the White House.

“In addition, Mr. Tyler’s voice is easily recognizable and central to his identity, and any use thereof wrongfully misappropriates his rights of publicity. Mr. Trump does not have any right to use the name, image, voice or likeness of our client, without his express written permission,” the letter said, according to a copy published by Variety.

The White House did not immediately return a message seeking comment.

On the heels of similar requests sent during the president’s election campaign, Mr. Tyler’s latest letter is at least the third cease-and-desist sent in response to Mr. Trump using Aerosmith songs sans permission. Lawyers for the singer sent a pair of similar requests after Mr. Trump used another one of his tunes without approval, “Dream On,” in 2015, making Tuesday’s instance “even more egregious,” Mr. LaPolt wrote.

“As we have made clear numerous times, Mr. Trump is creating the false impression that our client has given his consent for the use of his music, and even that he endorses the presidency of Mr. Trump,” Mr. Tyler’s attorney wrote Wednesday. “This specifically violates Section 43 of the Lanham Act, as it ‘is likely to cause confusion, or to cause mistake, or to deceive as to the affiliation, connection, or association of such person with another person.’

“Further, as we have also made clear, Mr. Trump needs our client’s express written permission in order to use his music,” the attorney wrote. “We demanded Mr. Tyler’s public performance societies terminate their licenses with you in 2015 in connection with ‘Dream On’ and any other musical compositions written or co-written by Mr. Tyler. As such, we are unaware of any remaining public performance license still in existence which grants Mr. Trump the right use his music in connection with the Rallies or any other purpose. If Mr. Trump has any such license, please forward it to our attention immediately.”

Released in 1993, “Livin’ on the Edge” was the first single from Aerosmith’s eleventh studio album, “Get a Grip,” one of the band’s best-selling records. The song subsequently won the 1994 Grammy Award for Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals, beating out tunes released by Blind Melon, Soul Asylum, Spin Doctors and Bob Dylan.

Video recorded at the Charleston Civic Center and shared on social media by CNN reporter Jim Acosta shows that the song was played over loudspeakers prior to Mr. Trump’s hour-plus speech Tuesday evening.

Mr. Trump’s use of the song is “clearly willful,” Mr. LaPolt wrote the White House, “subjecting Mr. Trump to the maximum penalty under the law.”

The scene in WV before Trumps rally. Aerosmiths Livin on the edge playing. pic.twitter.com/HW1qr9TBgE Jim Acosta (@Acosta) August 21, 2018

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