Nice to see John Oliver and Last Week Tonight stand up for the rights of songwriters. In the last segment of the show Oliver reviewed the permissionless/unlicensed use of songs by various candidates ending with a spoof music video “Don’t use our songs.” Guest appearances included Nancy and Ann Wilson, Usher, Michael Bolton, Dan Reynolds, Cyndi Lauper, Cheryl Crow, Josh Groban, and John Cougar. The message was unequivocally clear: respect the rights and wishes of songwriters.
And of course there was this:
Michael Bolton: Thank you for not playing me that’s a license you didn’t buy
Josh Groban: If I wanted to sing and not get paid I put my songs on Spotify
While some rights holders are being paid Last Week Tonight is correctly noting the issue with Spotify is that a large percentage of songwriters have not been paid at all.
A heartfelt thank you to John Oliver and the staff at Last Week Tonight.