Discussion: Coldplay To Use Snippet of Obama Singing 'Amazing Grace' On New Album

Discussion for article #243127

And now he really is a rock star.


Martin told The Sun that the band was given rights to a “tiny clip” of the performance for the album, “A Head Full Of Dreams.”

This was a public speech broadcast on every major and minor network. How is this not in the public domain, i.e., why was permission from the White House needed?

Full disclosure: NOT a lawyer.

tomorrow’s headlines today: Millions of angry wingnuts promise to never again buy a CD from a band they’ve never heard of.


They really didn’t have to ask. It was just a nice thing to do, a way to show respect, and also a way to make sure the White House wouldn’t mind.


That’s a good question, but it does say something about Coldplay that they chose to seek permission instead of simply using the clip without asking as so very many Republicans do.


That’s not how public domain is defined, but in this case, it wasn’t needed. Amazing Grace is in the public domain because it is not copyright protected, not because it’s been aired all over every network. Coldplay is making a profit off the clip, so it can’t hurt to make sure they aren’t going to end up in some sort of media war if he was displeased by it. It was the polite thing to do.


Just to be clear: I’m not asking about the song, but rather the speech itself. When the President speaks, is that speech subject to copyright law? I know that private individuals like MLK retain the rights to their public performances, but does the President enjoy the same status? I can’t imagine, for example, that every State Of The Union speech is regarded as the President’s private property.

Just because something is widely seen does not put it into free use. (Popular movies are still protected from theater-video and resale on the street.) Public domain is generally when something is past its copyright date (getting longer and longer) or never copyrighted at all (many government works, probably including this presidential address). But if you really want a headache, try figuring out “fair use” of copyrighted works.

The song maybe in the public domain, but the President is not. I believe you need permission from the President to use audio and/or likeness in any commercial venture.

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It all depends on content. His speeches are open domain, singing songs that may be copyrighted is not. The video of his speeches are not open domain and are usually copyrighted by the networks who are taking the video. These are subject to fair use laws (educational uses, etc). Coldplay would not be permitted to use something subjected to copyright under fair use laws if they earn a profit from it. They have to pay for it.

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Okay, thank you. Then that’s a specific rule related to his position. It does turn on ‘profit’ however. It’s probably fair use then.

For a secret Muslim, he faked the whole ‘Christian sincerity’ thing pretty convincingly.


A bit flat … but nice voice.

I love my President.


I have discovered that this moment irks a lot of Black conservatives. This discovery makes me happy


Coldplay will still suck.

Thanks for your valuable input, sunshine. It added so much to the discussion.


In Joy !


No way Obama is a Christian.