May 28, 2009 16:44

Blur, Pink Floyd, Futureheads rally against the BNP

Political party selling CDs without artists' permission

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Bands and artists including Blur, The Futureheads, Pink Floyd and Billy Bragg have protested against the British National Party (BNP) using music to fund their party.

In a letter signed by the acts sent to The Times, Musicians' Union General Secretary John Smith said that the artists featured on the BNP's CD's have no power to refuse their tracks being included.

"In the lead-up to the European elections, it has come to our attention that the BNP is selling compilation CDs through its website in order to raise funds for campaigning," Smith wrote.

"Many of the musicians featured on these CDs are Musicians' Union and/or Featured Artists Coalition members, and they have no legal right to object to their music being used in this way."

In February, Dame Vera Lynn consulted her lawyers after discovering her song 'White Cliffs Of Dover' was being used on a BNP compilation.

Other CDs on sale via the BNP's website include an album of folk songs penned by party leader Nick Griffin called 'West Wind'. Track titles include 'Nothing Bloody Works', 'Colour' and '51st State Lament'.

In his letter, Smith went on to call for musicians to be given a say in whether their tracks are used for this sort of compilation in future.

He wrote: "We would also like to raise awareness of the terribly low level of moral rights accorded to musicians in this country and we call for these to be reassessed so that musicians are able to object to their music being used in situations which contravene their beliefs and morals."

The letter is signed by Smith, Mark Kelly (Marillion), Dave Rowntree (Blur), Nick Mason (Pink Floyd), Ross Millard (The Futureheads), Sandie Shaw and Billy Bragg.

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