Pharrell Williams has sent President Donald Trump a cease-and-desist letter for playing his song, ‘Happy’, without authorization at a rally. The move comes in the wake of the tragic shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh.
The letter penned by Williams’ lawyer, Howard King, states that “on the day of the mass murder of 11 human beings at the hands of a deranged ‘nationalist,’ you played his song ‘Happy’ to a crowd at a political event in Indiana. There was nothing ‘happy’ about the tragedy inflicted upon our country on Saturday and no permission was granted for your use of this song for this purpose.”
The letter goes on to call out the incident involving usage of the song for both copyright infringement and trademark infringement, and denies permission for Trump’s general usage of any of Williams’ music going forward – “Pharrell Williams is the owner of the copyright in “Happy”, with the exclusive right to exploit same. Pharrell has not, and will not, grant you permission to publicly perform or otherwise broadcast or disseminate any of his music. The use of “Happy” without permission constitutes copyright infringement in violation of 17 U.S.C. § 501. This also violates Pharrell’s trademark rights under the Lanham Act.”
Trump has received several similar cease-and-desist letters in the past for using music without permission at public events from representatives of artists including Aerosmith, Prince, R