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Peter Gabriel, the Band Rush Demand Limbaugh Stop Using Their Music

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By Andrew Chow, Esq. on March 07, 2012 1:20 PM

Rush Limbaugh is facing the music after his crude and possibly defamatory remarks about Georgetown law student Sandra Fluke. First advertisers, and now some famous musicians, are cutting ties to the right-wing radio host.

The band Rush and singer Peter Gabriel are taking steps to stop Rush Limbaugh from using their music on his talk show, The Washington Post reports.

Peter Gabriel's 1986 song "Sledgehammer" was played in the background as Limbaugh called Fluke a "slut" and a "prostitute" for her Congressional testimony about birth control. Gabriel was "appalled," his agent said.

"It is obvious from anyone that knows Peter's work that he would never approve such a use" of his music, Peter Gabriel's agent said in a statement, according to the Post. The agent called Rush Limbaugh's comments about Sandra Fluke "unfair, aggressive, and ignorant."

The band Rush, meantime, sent Rush Limbaugh a cease and desist letter. Limbaugh's use of the band's music before and after commercial breaks inaccurately "implies an endorsement of the views expressed" on his radio show, the letter states.

Rush (the band) also claims Rush Limbaugh's use of their music violates copyright and trademark laws.

Under U.S. copyright law, a copyright owner gets exclusive rights to all public performances of a copyrighted work, including a song's lyrics and instrumentals. Copyrights are generally good for the life of the creator, plus 70 years.

Neither Rush (the band) nor Peter Gabriel have yet filed a lawsuit against Rush Limbaugh. But that may be a possibility, depending on how Limbaugh responds to the musicians' cease-and-desist requests.

Because of his Sandra Fluke remarks, Rush Limbaugh is now the latest conservative personality to face backlash from musicians this campaign season. GOP favorites including Newt Gingrich, Sarah Palin, and Michelle Bachmann have also been asked to stop using copyrighted music in public.

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