Kiwi music producer to take on Donald Trump over music copyright

Publish Date
Monday, 19 August 2019, 6:59PM
Photo / Alex Burton (NZH) & Getty Images

Photo / Alex Burton (NZH) & Getty Images

A Kiwi music producer has been shocked to discover his music has been used to introduce US President Donald Trump at a conservative rally.

Sebastian Kereti, from Manurewa, says he's now considering suing over the unauthorised use of his work, at a rally in Washington DC hosted by right-wing student group Turning Point USA on July 23.

The 22-year-old wrote the track Thoughts several years back when in his first year at Mainz (Music and Audio Institute of New Zealand).

It's an instrumental electronic hype track with a "catchy melodic line" and a bass drop that has proven hugely popular, with some 13 million YouTube views even before the Trump event.

Kereti's music is published on platforms like Soundcloud and Bass Nation, an MTV-like YouTube channel. He says he earns several thousand dollars in royalties each month for his music and is fine with requests to use the track.

But the first he heard that a section of it had been used at a Trump rally was when people started tagging him in videos from the event.

The footage starts with a campaign highlights reel before the track starts to play, building up to a bass drop before President Trump steps on to the stage.

Kereti, who goes by his production name Loud, said at first he thought the people tagging him were joking - "It was the last place I'd expect to see it being used."

Manurewa's Sebastian Kereti, 22, stage name Loud. Photo / Supplied

Photo / Supplied to NZH

 

"I'm not a fan of [Trump] ... I would much prefer Obama to use it," he said, although he was "not really into politics".

"But just knowing that it was my song used for that stage and platform was pretty crazy."

Views on YouTube are now approaching 18 million.

The new seal included a two-headed eagle resembling Russia's coat of arms, and a bundle of golf clubs in place of arrows. The Latin motto "E Pluribus Unum," - which means "from many, one" - had also been replaced with "45 es un títere,", the Spanish for "45 is a puppet".

Kereti said he was seeking input from fans on whether to sue the rally's organisers for unauthorised use of his track.

Under copyright law, politicians are able to use music unless there is any legal action banning their use. But, like any other public performance or an artist's music, royalty payments are required.

The music label for Thoughts, US-based Lowly Palace told the Herald on Sunday they understood the video played at the rally was created by Trump's campaign team.

Listen to the two tracks and tell us if you think Loud's track is the same one used in Donald Trump's rally

This article was originally published at nzherald.co.nz and is reproduced here with permission