MGMT 'insulted' by €1 offer from Sarkozy's party
U.S. indie band MGMT has threatened to sue French President Nicolas Sarkozy's party for repeatedly using one if its hit songs without permission, unless the band is fully compensated for its use.
The Union pour un Mouvement Populaire party paid a standard €53 fee ($75.54 Cdn.) to France's music licensing body, but MGMT's lawyer Isabelle Wekstein says that this was not enough to cover subsequent uses of the song, particularly on the Web.
The party has admitted to using the popular track, Kids, at its national congress in January, in two online videos and in political advertisements. But it claims this was an unintentional mistake and offered the band a symbolic €1 ($1.43 Cdn.) for copyright infringement.
Wekstein has rejected the offer, calling it insulting.
"This offer is disrespectful of the rights of artists and authors. It is insulting," she told Agence France-Presse. "We are dealing with acts of counterfeiting, an infringement of intellectual property."
Ironically, the UMP has been pushing for tougher laws against those who infringe musicians' copyright.
"It seems that those who led the charge against Internet users are not the most respectful of copyright," Wekstein told Le Monde.
She has asked for full financial compensation, failing which she intends to sue the UMP.
Xavier Bertrant, the UMP's new secretary general, has promised that the band will be paid.
The controversy comes a week before the UMP will present new legislation carrying stricter penalties for online piracy and filesharing to France's national assembly.