Stormfront, the Internet-based white nationalist organization, has stopped using a Johnny Cash recording of Tom Petty and Jeff Lynne’s song “I Won’t Back Down” as the theme music to its weekday audio program Stormfront Radio. The organization received a cease-and-desist letter on Sept. 5 from Universal Music Group (UMG) and American Recordings, the record label which owns the Cash recording, and whose output is pressed and distributed by UMG subsidiary Republic Records.
NPR has obtained a copy of the UMG/American Recordings letter. It was addressed to the Rense Radio Network, which posts Stormfront Radio’s content online, and to Don Black, the founder of Stormfront and a former Ku Klux Klan leader. Despite its name, Rense Radio Network does not appear to have any radio broadcast facilities or capacities; its content is at this time apparently distributed via personal websites and various YouTube channels.
In the letter, UMG/American claims that Stormfront Radio is “unlawfully exploiting” Cash’s recording, and notes that as of the time its letter was sent, the Cash recording was also included in “hundreds of archived and downloadable copies” of Stormfront Radio’s past shows. In the letter, UMG/American write that the labels “have not licensed, granted permission, or otherwise authorized either Rense Radio Network or Mr. Black” to use the Cash recording. UMG declined to comment for this report.
– Except from article written by Anastasia Tsioulcas, courtesy of NPR.com. See the full article here.
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