Metal Band Invoices US Govt for Use of Song

Metallica was also not quite happy that their music was being used to torture Guantanamo prisoners. The metal band Skinny Puppy is also not very keen on having their music used by the US Government to torture Guantanamo prisoners. So instead of asking the government to stop using their music, they simply invoiced them for the use. When asked how they felt about such use, band member cEvin Key noted, “Not too good. We never supported those types of scenarios. … Because we make unsettling music, we can see it being used in a weird way. But it doesn’t sit right with us.”

So here’s a question to our readers: Is the US Government’s use of copyrighted music to torture prisoners fair use?

3 comments on this post.
  1. Nona Yrbidness:

    Don’t see how it could possibly be fair use – is it fair use when my town pipes classical into dark alleys to keep out vagrants? Now whether it was an infringement in the first place might be a different question – are detainees the public?

  2. Sergio Muñoz Sarmiento:

    That’s a good point. It would be hard to argue that the detainees were “friends” and/or “close relatives” to avoid the public performance aspect. Is that what you’re getting at?

  3. AudioNomics:

    Right, it’s being done by a Government agency, not an individual. The government isn’t immune to its own laws (though one could argue members of congress conveniently wrote themselves exemptions for certain ones.. such as insider trading; there could be written in there exemptions for exactly this, but the legality of such a thing is beyond my pay-grade.)

    The DoD has roughly half the country’s budget… they can’t pay for a license? Besides the fact that it is very insulting to have your work used in such a way… You would think they could at least ‘ask’ first… The fact they use it in such a manner could very well be detrimental to the commercial value of the music.

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