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Mitt Romney

Accused of Hijacking

Silversun Pickups Song

8/15/2012 4:45 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Exclusive Details

0816_mitt_romney_letter_launchMitt Romney's been engaging in illegal activity -- playing the rock tune "Panic Switch" on the campaign trail without permission from the band Silversun Pickups -- this according to the band which fired off a cease and desist letter to the candidate today.

According to the band's frontman Brian Aubert, Romney has been using their 2009 hit ... even though no one ever asked them for permission, but it's pretty clear he wouldn't have gotten it even if he asked.

Aubert says, "We don't like people going behind our backs, using our music without asking, and we don't like the Romney campaign. We're nice, approachable people. We won't bite. Unless you're Mitt Romney!"

TMZ obtained a copy of the cease and desist, in which the band points out this also happened in 2008 ... when Sen. John McCain was sued by Jackson Browne for using "Running on Empty" without permission.

According to the letter, Republicans promised to "respect and uphold the rights of artists and to obtain permissions" after that debacle.

Aubert also says Romney's a victim of irony ... because "he is inadvertently playing a song that describes his whole campaign."

256 COMMENTS

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1.

Work4Bacon    

Feel like Mitt should have asked, but I also believe these Silversun people are being complete asses.

712 days ago
2.

HumanNature    

DAMN,


WITH ALL THAT $$$$$ AT LEAST HERMAN MUNSTER

712 days ago
3.

HumanNature    

COULD PAY FOR USING THEIR SONG!!!!

712 days ago
4.

Mike L    

Smash? Never heard of it. Who is this band, what is this song? If I haven't heard of it in NY, I doubt people in smaller cities and towns have either. Somebody think they're better and more popular then they really are.

712 days ago
5.

Pudding Tang    

That settles it. Mitt is truly a hip hipster.

712 days ago
6.

Areader    

The only way way Mitt Romney will ever see the Oval Office is on a tour!.......What an idiot!

712 days ago
7.

static    

Why would you use music by a bunch of candy asses nobody ever heard of anyway?

712 days ago
8.

Ryan    

What Silversun meant to say was, "Yes, our album sales are a little rough right now so be getting our name out there right now, especially connected to someone infinitely more famous then us, we can only hope will salvaging our careers."

712 days ago
9.

Chris    

I think that letter is more damaging to their reputation, especially since no one had any idea the song was theirs in the first place and now they just look like arrogant pricks. If they think a presendtial candidate chose the music himself they are delusional. It's almost like thi king the artist themselves sent this letter.... Hm.

712 days ago
10.

MrHarrybawls2010    

Why would anyone vote for Mitt Romney? His greatest accomplishment is that he inhales oxygen and exhales carbon dioxide.

712 days ago
11.

Loser    

May these irrelevant jerk@ffs go the same route as the Dixie Chicks. PROTEST!

712 days ago
12.

StevenB    

This happens several times every election cycle. Have you noticed it is ALWAYS the republicans that are stealing the music? Seriously.

712 days ago
13.

windytimes    

This sorry band should be happy anyone is playing their song!

712 days ago
14.

Ann    

who is the band. perhaps they should allow him to use their song, at least they would have 1 hit...poor them.

712 days ago
15.

Dan    

I'm pretty positive if they pay to use it, they can use it. even without Silversun Pickup's permission. It's called a compulsory license. As long as the song has been licensed out to another entity prior ( Which they did when they licensed it out to Guitar Hero), the Romney campaign can purchase this license, and use it however they wish without the permission of anyone in Silversun Pickups. They might have to pay a small fine for using it without permission, but then you go into liability. Regardless, I hope Romney pays the fine, purchases the compulsory license, and continues to rock out this song in the faces of these pricks.

712 days ago
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