GOP candidates feeling heat over campaign use of popular songs

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NEW YORK -- It happens every political season -- candidates take to the campaign trail, push their agendas, kiss a few babies and it unravels to the beat of a catchy tune.

For the GOP candidates eyeballing the 2016 White House, it’s been far from a smooth road on Rock-n-Roll lane.

Just weeks after getting ripped apart by Neil Young for using “Rocking In The Free World” for his presidential candidacy announcement, billionaire-reality star Donald Trump is being scolded again.

This time, for blaring REM’s 1987 hit “It’s The End Of The World As We Know It” on the campaign trail.

Trump’s campaign apparently never got permission to use the tune and it left REM’s front man Michael Stipe pretty annoyed.

“Go f*ck yourselves, the lot of you,” Stipe said in a statement about the usage. “Do not use our music or my voice for your moronic charade of a campaign.”

“It’s a very emotional issue for some of these artists,” Business and Entertainment attorney Domenic Romano told PIX11 News.

According to Romano, while some candidates do take out blanket licenses to use songs on a one-time basis, some are stretching their legal limits and doing damage in the process.

“You’re bringing negative attention to yourself,” Romano explained. “You’re using the song to create a feel-good moment and then you go and look on Twitter and the artist whose song you’re using is lambasting your political views, criticizing you.”

“It’s not publicity that you want.”

Like in the case of Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker who was introduced at a summit in January with a song from Boston-based band Dropkick Murphys.

The band quickly tweeted: “@govwalker please stop using our music in any way...we literally hate you !!! Love, dropkick murphys.”

When Kentucky clerk Kim Davis emerged from prison this week, after not granting same sex marriages licenses, she was received with cheers from supporters.

Blaring over loud speakers was the classic Survivor tune “Eye Of The Tiger.”

Homework on the song selection was not thoroughly done as the band is now reportedly threatening legal action.

"I do not agree with Kim Davis' stance and do not believe in denying gay rights and the freedom for all individuals to choose the lifestyle they want to live," Frankie Sullivan, co-writer for ‘Eye’ told Rolling Stone Magazine.

"What upset me most was that, once again, my song was being used to further a political agenda – and no one even bothered to ask for permission."

One report claims Survivor has filed a lawsuit that seeks $1.2 million in damages.

“This should be a lesson to politicians who choose to use artists’ music,” chimed Romano. “They should make sure their political sensibilities are aligned with the artists whose music they want to use.“