Back in February, it was reported that Nicolas Sarkozy’s political party UMP was using MGMT’s “Kids” without getting permission from the band. It was particularly ironic, since UMP is very strict on anti-piracy laws. MGMT countered by suing UMP, mostly because they were ideologically opposed to the party, which proved to be the proper tactic, since UMP moved rapidly to fix the problem, agreeing to compensate MGMT for the use of the song.
Since then, MGMT have remained quiet about the suit, but have now released a statement that says they donated the money to an artist’s rights organization because they didn’t want to be typical Americans suing everyone for profit. Here’s what the band had to say:
“About two months ago it was brought to our attention (through the MGMT message board) that the UMP French political party was using our song “Kids” at rallies and posting videos of these rallies on their official website. Normally MGMT steers clear of mixing music and politics, but the fact that the UMP used our song without permission while simultaneously pushing anti-piracy legislation seemed a little wack. We believe that access to music benefits both the musicians and the fans, and has undoubtedly helped spread our music around the globe, while also expanding our personal musical collections. We didn’t want to be “typical Americans” and sue, despite the amazing monetary benefit and chinchilla coats and Navigators it would bring. Instead we’re using the settlement fee the UMP presented and donating it to artists rights organizations. Thank you France for the wonderful food. C’est bon.” – MGMT”
I’m not sure the band had anything to apologize for in regards to suing UMP; the party took the band’s song, and they did what they felt had to be done to protect their work. I also can’t believe they turned down the Navigators and chinchilla coats.