Rush the band, Rage Against the Machine lash out at Rush Limbaugh
Prog-rockers Rush and thrash-rappers Rage Against the Machine have joined ranks with Peter Gabriel and The Fabulous Thunderbirds in demanding that radio host Rush Limbaugh stop playing their music during his program.
The Rush song "The Spirit of Radio" was playing in the background during a recent Limbaugh show when he called Sandra Fluke, a Georgetown University student, a "slut" and "prostitute." Fluke had testified before Congress in support of a mandate for all private insurance plans to cover contraception.
"The use of Rush's music in this way is an infringement of Rush's copyrights and trademarks," reads a cease and desist letter sent to Limbaugh via the band's attorney,and posted online by The Huffington Post. "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."
Meanwhile, Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine didn't resort to lawyers in his demand for Limbaugh to stop playing his band's music, instead turning to Twitter:
To Rush Limbaugh: Hey Jackass, stop using our music on your racist, misogynist, right wing clown show. Sincerely, Rage Against The Machine— Tom Morello (@tmorello) March 9, 2012
Earlier this week, frontman Kim Wilson of The Fabulous Thunderbirds demanded that Limbaugh stop using the song "Tuff Enough" other material by his band during the radio show. Peter Gabriel, whose music was also played during Limbaugh's show, has also demanded that Limbaugh stop playing his music.
Despite the wishes of the musicians, there may not be a way to legally prevent Limbaugh from playing their songs, since radio broadcasts are typically covered by blanket public performance licenses.
As advertisers began dropping their support of his program last week -- dozens reportedly have withdrawn their support -- Limbaugh issued a statement over the weekend apologizing for using the words "slut" and "prostitute" to describe Fluke.
"I do not think she is either of those two words," he said on his Monday (3/5) radio broadcast. "I did not think, last week, that she is either of those two words. The apology to her over the weekend was sincere. It was simply for using inappropriate words in a way I never do. And in so doing I became like the people we oppose. I ended up descending to their level."
The day after his initial comments about Fluke, Limbaugh said: "If we are going to pay for your contraceptives, thus pay for you to have sex, we want something for it, and I'll tell you what it is: We want you to post the videos online so we can all watch."