Medal of Honor Music Used in McCain Campaign Ad, But Composer is an Obama Supporter

June 19, 2008 -

If the background music for a recent McCain campaign commercial (see video) seems familiar, there may be a good reason. 

The piece featured is, in fact, from EA's Medal of Honor: European Assault – undoubtedly the first time music from a videogame has been used in such a manner.

As it happens, though, this has caused the game's composer no little chagrin.  Christopher Lennertz, an ardent supporter of Barack Obama received many calls and letters regarding the campaign ad.

So how did Lennertz's music find its way into McCain's commercial? The composer told GamePolitics:

 

It turns out that there was a mix-up as to which company controlled the rights to the music. The McCain campaign did nothing illegal. I do think however, that they should have checked to see if the creators of content that they are using to promote their views are in fact in sync with them…

Lennertz also released a statement on the McCain ad:

I have been receiving many emails and calls for the past week regarding the use of my music in a national television ad for John McCain's presidential campaign. The ad is called "Safe" and prominently features a track entitled "Casualties of War" that I wrote for Medal of Honor: European Assault. While I do not control the ownership of this piece, I am extremely disappointed its placement in this commercial. I did not authorize the use and was not made aware of the situation. Regardless of party affiliation of support, I would like to think that someone who believes in the American ideals of business and creativity like Sen. McCain supposedly does, would not want to disgrace or inflict any hardship or ill-will on the artists who create in this country by using their works to promote products and agendas which with they disagree.

 

As an American, I have the utmost respect and admiration for our troops and all of their sacrifices. In fact, much of the inspiration for my music in this piece came from having a grandfather who served this country honorably as an officer in World War II. I respect John McCain for his service to this country, both in the military and in Washington, but I do not and have never supported his candidacy nor his agenda for this country. I am dismayed that my music has been used to promote his platform and even more disappointed that a candidate who claims to be the best voice for American entrepreneurs and business owners in this troubled economy so flagrantly ignored the most basic values and tenents of copyright and intellectual property. What, I ask, does such an action or oversight say about Mr. McCain's regard for the intrinsic value of American products, services, or creations? Where does the line get drawn? Is it reasonable to use my music to sell tobacco, alcohol, or pornographic materials? Is it reasonable to use it to promote a religion in which I do not believe? Is it legal?...yes, perhaps, is it ethical?...I don’t believe so. Is it American?...definitely not by my standards.

 

 

As an artist, business owner, and patriot, I proudly support Senator Barack Obama for the Presidency of the United States of America...

GP: This special report provided to GamePolitics by: Alex Van Zelfden


Comments

Re: Medal of Honor Music Used in McCain Campaign Ad, But

It´s not the first time the music from a videogame has been used in such a manner. Some years ago, a music from Final Fantasy VIII was used in a TV ad from a candidate, here in Brazil.

I don´t have the video, but I remember... was the music of my favorite game, in background of a terrible person, making a terriblem speech.

Re: Medal of Honor Music Used in McCain Campaign Ad, But

Tomorrow, let's hear about how John McCain's tailor supports Ron Paul.

Actually John Mc Cain's tailor is a member of  the WESTBORO Church.

Re: Medal of Honor Music Used in McCain Campaign Ad, But

The title for this article should be:

McCain Haters at Game Politics give John Williams Wannabe a Soap Box

I hope Game Politics understands this is not news.  EPIC FAIL

Tomorrow, let's hear about how John McCain's tailor supports Ron Paul.

Re: Medal of Honor Music Used in McCain Campaign Ad, But

Sucks to be him, but he took the short term payout on his music, and sacrificed the long term control.  There is a reason why artists like Coldplay (who have turned down deals with Coca-Cola and The Gap) and U2 retain the rights to their music.  Less royalty on the front end for a bigger payout down the line.   It's unfortunate that as a video game composer you may have meet those agreements to get any work, but if that's the way the business works, you should complain about that, not about something that you signed away in a contract.

My recommendation?  Get a better lawyer/manager.   Even if he signs away his rights to the music, he might be able to work in a clause that specifically restricts against the future use of his music to support a political platform.  I wish this guy luck in his future dealings, but can't stand behind much of anything in his blog.

 

 

 

Re: Medal of Honor Music Used in McCain Campaign Ad, But

Whatever you think of the game, I love that tune. Makes me think of the lads who we couldn't bring out of it.

Re: Medal of Honor Music Used in McCain Campaign Ad, But

I wouldn't say it's "undoubtedly the first time music from a videogame has been used in such a manner."  Frank Lautenberg, a democratic candidate for US Senate from New Jersey, was using various pieces of Medal of Honor music during his campaigns for the primary election a couple months ago.

At the very least, it's nice to see music from videogames appearing in a sort of mainstream way, regardless of any questions as to its use.

Re: Medal of Honor Music Used in McCain Campaign Ad, But

I'm John McCain and I hate war, yet I'll keep our troops in a perpetual war in the Middle East just as long as I get backhands from Big Oil. F'ing Republican retard!

Re: Medal of Honor Music Used in McCain Campaign Ad, But

See here, kids? This is what we call "no research" and "misquoting" and "Obama lying/spin".

1. McCain suggested a base system in the "hundred years" comment, much like what we have in Japan and South Korea.

2. Neither of the campaigns can take money from lobbyists. Obama's campaign, however, takes millions from oil industry lobbyists wives and uses lobbyists as bundlers for his campaign. McCain has the moral high ground here.

Re: Medal of Honor Music Used in McCain Campaign Ad, But

Speaking of facts, you should probably know that McCain's campaign manager is the biggest lobbyist in the history of Washington. Ever. But the media never talks about this. Obama has never taken money from lobbyists for his campaign.

Awkward

Heh,that's a tad bit on the awkward side,isn't it?

In other news,Texas Republican Party questions whether or not we'll still the White House the White House if Obama takes office.

Although I'm pretty sure McCain is not as stupid as the Texas GOP,it just reminds me if that story......

Re: Awkward

I couldn't understand what this is supposed to say.

And if you want stupid, you should see the Texas liberals.

Re: Awkward

I'm not sure either.It just reminds me of it.....

Re: Medal of Honor Music Used in McCain Campaign Ad, But

It's pretty clear that a lot of people commenting here aren't artists.  :P

http://www.darkesword.com/

Re: Medal of Honor Music Used in McCain Campaign Ad, But

It's pretty clear that artists who get paid for their work have an inflated sense of self-worth, and absolutely no sense of how business works.

~~All Knowledge is Worth Having~~

~~All Knowledge is Worth Having~~

Re: Medal of Honor Music Used in McCain Campaign Ad, But

Oh really.  I'd wager that an artist whose work is prominently featured/written for a major video game franchise generally understands "how business works."

http://www.darkesword.com/

Re: Medal of Honor Music Used in McCain Campaign Ad, But

 Perhaps artists who get paid for their work clearly understand how business works and merely express their displeasure at the way in which it works. Hmmm...freely speaking someone's mind when they feel their is a moral injustice in the system. Sounds pretty American to me, in fact, I think Thomas Jefferson would be proud.

As far as an inflated sense of self worth, I think free speech constitutional right of each and every citizen, no matter what their field of expertise or business happens to be.

Re: Medal of Honor Music Used in McCain Campaign Ad, But

The problem here is that he's suggesting that McCain ignored copyright law, and that the company he sold his rights to actually has some reason to check if he approves. He doesn't understand how business works, he doesn't understand how copyrights work, and instead of mouthing his opinion, he accused the McCain campaign of breaking the law. If he were merely complaining, that would be one thing, but he isn't.

Re: Medal of Honor Music Used in McCain Campaign Ad, But

Tell me, where does he suggests McCain ignored copyright law and broke the law?

He says straight out, "The McCain campaign did nothing illegal."

The ONLY thing he is doing is stating his opinion about it. He is not making any kind of law suit; he is not accusing McCain of anything illegal; He is not demanding that the ad be pulled. All he is doing is expressing his disappointment. While everything was done legally and within their rights, on an issue such as this, something that many people feel strongly about, he would have very much appreciated if the McCain camp or the company would have given him a courtesy call asking him how he feels about his creation being used in the ad. Hell, if the McCain did that i would have given some serious respect points for asking the creator first.

He really is "merely complaining" and nothing more

 

Re: Medal of Honor Music Used in McCain Campaign Ad, But

"so flagrantly ignored the most basic values and tenents of copyright and intellectual property."

what part of that don't you understand? he implied, if not outright claimed, that Mccain did something illegal. To then say he did nothing illegal, completely nullifies his whole argument.

Re: Medal of Honor Music Used in McCain Campaign Ad, But

While I too do not support McCain, I think that Lennertz is completely out of line in what he says.  If you write a peice of music and then you sell it, you no longer have any say in what it is used for.  If he wants to be so self-righteous about what his music is used for then he should never have sold it in the first place.

-- mostly harmless

mostly harmless

Re: Medal of Honor Music Used in McCain Campaign Ad, But

Lamest slapfight ever?

Re: Medal of Honor Music Used in McCain Campaign Ad, But

Really, calm down folks, there was no drama at all. I don't think he was trying to pin anything on anybody. The composers statement was from his blog. He was merely replying to people who had seen the commercial and had asked him how he felt about it. It seems like he know's that he doesn't have any legal rights to the music...I think he was just disappointed.

After all, John Mellencamp and Chuck Berry also had their music being played at McCain events and expressed their displeasure. I think that they just wanted to make it known who they supported. That's not unreasonable. My real question is why didn't McCain's staffers check out the websites and blogs of all these musicians just to avoid the controversy...It'd be like Obama using a song by Ted Nugent. Not illegal, just kind of stupid in terms of message...like when Reagan tried to use Springsteen in the 80's. Just takes a little common sense.

In the end, nobody did anything wrong, but I can understand why it might be frustrating.

 

 

Re: Medal of Honor Music Used in McCain Campaign Ad, But

I think the difference is that John Mellencamp and Chuck Berry aren't standing up there and saying that McCain is "fragrantly ignoring the tenents of copyright and intellectual property rights" and that it further puts into question, McCain's values on American products, services, and creation.

 

Re: Medal of Honor Music Used in McCain Campaign Ad, But

Actually both Mellencamp and Berry's reps complained strongly to the press, and McCain, out of respect for their wishes, does not use the music any longer. Problem solved. Perhaps as the composer knows quite well he has no legal claims, and he was hoping to accomplish the same kind of result here...

Re: Medal of Honor Music Used in McCain Campaign Ad, But

"It seems like he know's that he doesn't have any legal rights to the music...."

That's kind of unclear, since he said McCain "flagrantly ignored the most basic values and tenents of copyright and intellectual property." These are pretty harsh words, and he was not just clarifying that he doesn't support McCain.

Re: Medal of Honor Music Used in McCain Campaign Ad, But

From the quote:

The McCain campaign did nothing illegal

-- mostly harmless

mostly harmless

Re: Medal of Honor Music Used in McCain Campaign Ad, But

That's the sort of thing that goes in like with "With all due respect..." it's a cop out meant to avoid ill will. If you call someone an asshole, it's disrespectful, and if you say someone ignored a basic tenant of copyright law, you have accused them of doing something illegal.

Re: Medal of Honor Music Used in McCain Campaign Ad, But

THIS!

Thank you.

Re: Medal of Honor Music Used in McCain Campaign Ad, But

Seriously, now, McCain's people are supposed to check with the creator's political stance to see if there's an ideaological conflict?

Ludicrous. Music and images are little components to be bought and sold for making products such as the campaign ad. Should he have asked the creators of the video technology he was using if they supported his candidacy? The manufacturers of the cameras and other equipment? The leaders of the company that broadcast the ad, or their shareholders? What about the people in the ad? Have every one of them been checked for political allegiance?

Putting aside McCain campaigners' lack of obligation to expend time, money, and energy to track down the root creators of their content and figure out their position, isn't it usually considered intrusive - if not downright suspicious - to hunt people down and ask them whether they support a certain candidate? That practice sounds downright idiotic to me, not sensitive and patriotic.

But I understand the implied "offense" here. This guy is an artist, so he feels some sort of emotional attachment to his work that isn't diminished by his selling it off. That's fine. I'd be annoyed too. Of course, then he launches this attack from on high that this reflects upon McCain's respect for people like him and some of the most basic foundations of our country, turning a blameless and legitimate concern into a dramatic attack upon his rights. Cute.

You know what else is a basic value and tenet of the American economy? Capitalism. You sell your product, somebody else buys it up and uses it however they want. McCain and his people have a perfect understanding of business and copyright laws. They don't deserve to take this kind of flak.

Re: Medal of Honor Music Used in McCain Campaign Ad, But

"You know what else is a basic value and tenet of the American economy? Capitalism."   Last time I checked, Candidate Obama and the political party he represents are typically a bit vague and or confused about the value of Capitalism, and rewarding success, etc.

BTW ... I like the perspective you put on all the other aspects of production that go into making a  commercial.   I wonder if the manufacturers of the software and instruments Lennertz used to compose and perform his music actually support his political point of view? Did he think to get their permission before making those comments?

GOOGLE MOTHERFUCKER, DO YOU USE IT?!

McCain sure as hell doesn't. Most people ask permission from people when they use their artistic assets for a bullshit campaign commercial. The McCain political machine just does not care to check their shit out, as evidenced by the fact they had to back out last minute from the fundraiser run by a dude who said women should just lay back and take it when they get raeped.

Re: GOOGLE MOTHERFUCKER, DO YOU USE IT?!

 

I really don't have words for the rape comment. 2 reasons

1:you misspelled rape

2:the average democrat(obama included) take away tools that can allow someone to protect themself.

 

Re: GOOGLE MOTHERFUCKER, DO YOU USE IT?!

1. lol frosted butts 2. Yes because gun laws changed dramatically during Clinton's stay in office and changed dramatically again when bush came into office. Not to mention there was a sudden downswing in violence because handguns became legal again. Revisionist history: really, the only way GOP policies can look good. Now tell me how having the largest dept in the history of the nation which was created in part by going to war without increasing taxes is an example of being financially responsible.

Re: GOOGLE MOTHERFUCKER, DO YOU USE IT?!

I was commenting on your choice of critisism, not on presidents.

Re: GOOGLE MOTHERFUCKER, DO YOU USE IT?!

McCain's the one who backed out of a fundraiser because the guy running it made mysoginistic remarks years ago. I made no commentary on the remarks themselves simply that McCain's camp failed to do research before promoting and announcing this event, they claimed they were unaware of the gentleman's past indescretions up until there was just a few days before the scheduled event. I don't give a shit when some GOP a-hole actually lets loose and makes his Taliban-esque views public, but the morons out there sure do and McCain wanted to avoid that assosciation since he's trying to get votes from the Hillary supporters.

Re: GOOGLE MOTHERFUCKER, DO YOU USE IT?!

"Most people ask permission from people when they use their artistic assets for a bullshit campaign commercial."

The point here is that the creator is no longer the owner of the artistic asset and thus has zero say in it's use.    Thus permission was asked and thus this incident has no bearing on McCains integrity, no matter what kind of spin the composer (or you) try to put on it.

As a person who will vote for Obama, I am still disgusted that people would try to pin this on McCain when this is nothing but Diva Drama.

Oh, and nice language... really helps bring the point home. :(

Re: GOOGLE MOTHERFUCKER, DO YOU USE IT?!

Thank you for being one Obama supporter that I've come across with a head on his shoulders.  I was starting to think Obama-heads were all touchy-feely artsy "diva drama" philes who think the world runs on good intentions.

~~All Knowledge is Worth Having~~

~~All Knowledge is Worth Having~~

Re: GOOGLE MOTHERFUCKER, DO YOU USE IT?!

 If everyone in the world did base their actions on good intentions, perhaps the world would be a better place, No?

and before you call me naive, I know that not everyone will follow that premise, but it doesn't mean we all have to sink to their level.

...and for all the conservative bible thumping republicans out there, Jesus said "Forgive them, Lord, for they know not what they do"...NOT... "They are thoughtless, selfish, and mean, so let's all act the same malicious way towards them so we can feel better about ourselves."

You are right, the world does not run on good intentions, but the reason it doesn't, is because of those who do not have them or follow through with them...NOT those who do!

Re: GOOGLE MOTHERFUCKER, DO YOU USE IT?!

Obama's getting attacked right now for not using public funds since he's already so money. Right up until November there will be hundreds of thousands (possibly millions) of Americans dedicated to spreading the meme that Obama is a "secret muslim" and is "not patriotic". Obama and the DNC will lose if they can't step it up and paint McCain as a child murdering fetus eating war mongering tax overspending lazy asshole, because i can tell you without a doubt that 20% will believe the new GOP commercials that claim Obama teamed up with Saddam to plan 9/11.

Put the shoe on the other foot...

If Obama used music by a musician who once said "I agree with some of the things Noam Chomsky has said" then every major news outlet would be running the story 24/7 that Obama loves music by terrorist lovers. It's only fair McCain be put up to the same scrutiny. Terrorist Fist Bump, remember?

100 years in Iraq, bomb bomb bomb bomb bomb iran=anti war?

That's the weird thing about this Ad is that if this was the 2004 McCain it would make sense but with the ZOMG KILL IRAN and "100 or even 1,000 or 10,000 years in Iraq" McCain this ad is just pure BS. Kind of like how he was all for fund raising reform until the only people willing to give him money was select parties willing to give millions or billions.

Have game muscians become a bunch of whiny Divas???

Last month, the voice/body actor behind GTA's Niko raised a big stink over his "cut" from the game:

Boo, Hoo the world ain't fair

"“Obviously I’m incredibly thankful to Rockstar for the opportunity to be in this game when I was just a nobody, an unknown quantity, [...] But it’s tough, when you see Grand Theft Auto IV out there as the biggest thing going right now, when they’re making hundreds of millions of dollars, and we don’t see any of it.”


And this composer is up in arms over his work for MoH:EA :
 
(NY Times article)
My piece, my rules

"While I do not control the ownership of this piece, I am extremely disappointed [by] its placement in this commercial. I did not authorize the use and was not made aware of the situation. "

You did not authorize it's use???
What a bunch of f'n divas!
Did they not understand what WORK FOR HIRE means?
Did they conveniently forget where the IP lies and what that means?
Do they not get how OUR industry works?

Some programmer spends 60 hours a week in front of a computer, neglecting family, neglecting health, to get the game going and these, these, DIVAS, come in to their cushy studios and do a few hours of talking and moving a day and then they have the GALL to think they a) they are more important than the rest of the team (example 1) or b) that they should have some say over how others legally use their works after it's done (example 2).

Personally, I feel this attitude needs to be squashed and squashed HARD lest our industry become a haven for Divas who think that just because they are the sound of a game, that they are the soul of the game!

_________________________

Re: Have game muscians become a bunch of whiny Divas???

 I am a video game composer. I spend at least 80+ hours a week writing. Every other composer I know does the same. My wife and kids are fast asleep when I get home every night of the week (7 days!) I and every other musician I know thinks that you programmers are amazing and that the graphics, gameplay, story, AND sound are all equally important elements in making a great game. I think you guys are geniuses.

Yes all composers understand what a work for hire is, but when they agree to relinquish their rights to a VG publisher (as they must in order to get hired) they assume that the music will be exploited by that company in marketing, trailers, and other game related ventures with a certain amount of professionalism. It's perfectly legal, but I have to agree with Lennertz, that in cases of politics, religion, and controlled substances, a phone call to double check (While not required) would be respectful and courteous and probably lead to a very long and prosperous working relationship between me and the publisher that I was working for. That's all.

GKM

 

Re: Have game muscians become a bunch of whiny Divas???

ERRATA: the first article is from the NY Times; the second is from The Escapist.

Re: Medal of Honor Music Used in McCain Campaign Ad, But

If Lennertz feels so strongly about it, perhaps he should compose some campaign music for Obama gratis?

Re: Medal of Honor Music Used in McCain Campaign Ad, But

Lennertz "While I do not control the ownership of this piece ... "  ... then you have no say in it's use or resale.  That's how the work-for-hire clause in contracts plays out. Same as if the developer/publisher was paying your salary when you wrote it. End of story.

The McCain campaign had the right to license this piece for his ad.

In the future, he needs to write his development contracts to cover his political views.

Re: Medal of Honor Music Used in McCain Campaign Ad, But

This was very nteresting. Thanks GP!

Re: Medal of Honor Music Used in McCain Campaign Ad, But

Seems to me like the McCain campaign did nothing at all worth getting upset over. They got the legal rights to use the music in that ad. The fact an Obama supporter composed it is irrelevant.

Re: Medal of Honor Music Used in McCain Campaign Ad, But

 Hah, video games are penetrating mainstream culture.

Re: Medal of Honor Music Used in McCain Campaign Ad, But

This sounds like something unimportant masquerading as a scandal. 

I know this may sound mean, but if you sell the rights to something you make, I don't wanna hear you bitch about it when its used in way you don't like. 

 
Forgot your password?
Username :
Password :

Shout box

You're not permitted to post shouts.
Papa MidnightSpeculation from PC Gamer. Don't hold your breath. http://www.pcgamer.com/2014/07/21/microsoft-job-listing-says-nice-things-about-pc-gaming-isnt-clear-if-it-means-them/07/21/2014 - 5:58pm
MaskedPixelanteI dunno, it's probably Vevo powertripping.07/21/2014 - 5:52pm
Andrew EisenMP - Makes you wonder what the intention behind the removal was. Stop the RickRolls? Yeah, like removing that one video is going to make a difference.07/21/2014 - 3:27pm
MaskedPixelantehttp://www.billboard.com/articles/business/digital-and-mobile/6165313/youtube-blocks-original-rickroll-video Moment of silence, the original Rickroll video has been blocked in many regions.07/20/2014 - 3:53pm
PHX CorpUseless DLC news: Killzone Fart Pack http://ps4daily.com/2014/07/killzone-fart-dlc/07/20/2014 - 12:56pm
MaskedPixelantehttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uU1mK2ig_GU They did their research beforehand.07/19/2014 - 4:41pm
Sleaker@james_fudge - are you sure the FCC can pick and choose? the general rules I read as passed in the act don't really indicate that, but I didn't read through the entirety.07/19/2014 - 4:19pm
MaskedPixelanteOf course, Saban's entire point hinges on them not knowing what the tokusatsu genre is.07/19/2014 - 1:57pm
lomdrLink to where you saw this, Sora-chan?07/19/2014 - 1:50pm
MaskedPixelanteThis is just... confusing to me... They're not being sued, but it looks like extortion, but maybe now the devs can make demands of Saban? I dunno...07/19/2014 - 1:47pm
MaskedPixelantehttp://www.joystiq.com/2014/07/18/chroma-squad-dev-agrees-to-royalty-split-ultimatum-from-power-ra/07/19/2014 - 1:43pm
Sora-ChanSo apparently, Towns is updating again. Not sure what that means, since last we heard it got abandoned.07/19/2014 - 5:42am
Matthew Wilsonthe 10c is based of the fact that it only cost them 2c a gig to send data around to start with, and that does include infrastructure07/18/2014 - 5:24pm
Matthew Wilsonhere is the thing the average user does not use enough bandwidth to justify usage based billing at most they would be allowed to charge 10c a gig. the avrage user would need to use around 600 gigs a piece.07/18/2014 - 5:23pm
james_fudgeThe FCC can apply what rules it sees fit and ignore rules that make no sense under Title II.07/18/2014 - 4:57pm
Sleaker@MW - ahhh thanks for the info. I still don't see how Title II or reclassifying would benefit industry or do what people are asking the FCC to do.07/18/2014 - 2:43pm
Matthew Wilsonif they do, they would than be subject to the utility commission for price approval. the short answer is no because it would bring even more regulations.07/18/2014 - 1:50pm
SleakerIf Internet gets rebranded as a Title II do you think cable companies will start charging per-usage similar to every other utility?07/18/2014 - 12:57pm
MaskedPixelanteI guess 'recommiting to classic style JRPGs like the upcoming Bravely Second' is coming later, now is the time for microtransactions at a level that would make EA say "guys, take it easy on the paywall".07/18/2014 - 10:39am
MaskedPixelantehttp://www.joystiq.com/2014/07/17/final-fantasy-record-keeper-relives-the-series-battles-for-mobi/ Square is really, really, REALLY hoping you all forgot that Final Fantasy: All The Bravest was a thing...07/18/2014 - 10:36am
 

Be Heard - Contact Your Politician