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