(AFP) – Feb 25, 2009
PARIS (AFP) — US indie band MGMT has demanded compensation from French President Nicolas Sarkozy's party for using one of their hits as a campaign soundtrack without permission, their lawyer said Wednesday.
MGMT's lawyer took action last week against Sarkozy's Union for a Popular Movement for using the hugely popular track "Kids" at its national congress in January, during a field trip by the party leader and in two online videos.
The UMP's public relations firm has admitted using the track without permission, but says it was an unintentional mistake, and has offered the band one euro (1.25 dollars) in symbolic damages for copyright infringement.
But MGMT's French lawyer Isabelle Wekstein rejected the offer on Wednesday as "insulting", and repeated her demand for full financial compensation, short of which she intends to sue the party.
"This offer is disrespectful of the rights of artists and authors. It is insulting," she told AFP. "We are dealing with acts of counterfeiting, an infringement of intellectual property."
According to Wekstein, the UMP paid a standard 53-euro fee to the French music licensing body, the SACEM, which she said did not cover subsequent uses of the rock track, particularly on the web.
The row comes a week before the French parliament starts examining a new law championed by Sarkozy's party, pushing for tougher penalties for online piracy and file-sharing on the Internet.
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