RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE guitarist Tom Morello wants conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh to stop using the band’s music on his radio show. “Rush Limbaugh played ‘Sleep Now In The Fire‘ as a bumper on his show today,” Morello told RollingStone.com. “Our response: ‘Hey, jackass, stop using our music on your racist, misogynist, right-wing clown show.”
Earlier in the week, Canadian rock legends RUSH sent a cease-and-desist letter to Limbaugh asking for their music to be pulled from Limbaugh’s syndicated talk show.
Limbaugh made several inflamatory remarks about a Georgetown University law student last week, calling Sandra Fluke a “slut” and a “prostitute” after she argued that birth control should be covered by health insurance at religious institutions. He subsequently apologized, saying his choice of words was not the best.
According to RollingStone.com, radio programs generally don’t need explicit permission from songwriters to play their music. Radio networks are covered under blanket agreements for “public performance” of the songs in major publishing catalogs, and so long as those networks pay their licensing fees, they are allowed to play whatever they like within the bounds of FCC regulations. However, in RUSH‘s cease-and-desist letter, the band’s attorney claimed that the “public performance of RUSH‘s music is not licensed for political purposes,” essentially arguing that the scope of a public performance license has limits.