Campaign jingles are even more ubiquitous in the Philippines now that the midterm elections are less than a week away. These promotional songs are usually based on existing music without the consent of songwriters, something Filipino musician Gabby Alipe spoke out against on social media on Monday.
Alipe, known as the frontman of rock band Urbandub, urged the Commission on Elections to fix their rules regarding the issue.
“Especially those ones that use the melody [of the song] and just change the lyrics,” the solo artist said in Filipino. “You can keep your ‘exposure.’ We don’t need it.”
It’s common practice for Filipino candidates to use catchy jingles for their campaigns. They usually use a popular song’s melody and change the lyrics to promote their candidacy. It’s done by local and national candidates — from mayoral to presidential aspirants — and it’s likely that many of those who have done this have never paid a songwriter for the unauthorized use of their work.
Alipe even threw a little shade at corrupt politicians.
“You pay your suppliers to print your posters, you pay for your T-shirt’s, you pay for your campaign materials, and in some cases, you even pay for your votes. Isn’t it just fair that you also pay for the music you use to advertise your platform and candidacy???” he said.
He said that at the very least, the candidate should ask for permission before using a song.
“Because if you are supported by the artist, maybe that artist will let you use the song for free as a show of support and endorsement,” he said.
“It’s really sad that musicians and their songs are treated like nothing during this campaign season… Something should change here.”
“Stop treating musicians, songwriters as dispensable pawns for your Babylonian interests. Just like what one respected artist said, ‘They haven’t even been elected yet, but they’re already stealing.'”
Alipe was referring to fellow musician Raymund Marasigan who spoke up last month urging the public not to vote for election candidates who use songs without artists’ permission.
Alipe’s Facebook post had over 1,500 reactions and 770 shares, while his Twitter post had 1,100 likes and 500 retweets as of this article’s posting. Netizens agreed with his sentiments.
Lebumfacil Miguel Angelo said: “This is so on point.”
FrancRis Talon said: “They can actually file a case for copyright infringement.”
Chin Mhierylle Lim said: “Very well said. It’s saddening to think about.”
Facebook user Ian Delleva said: “Actually bro your right is already protected… it is under intellectual property law.. particularly the right to copyright…. the moment that other person uses your composition without your consent, even only the melody, will constitute infringement… and that is a form of theft….. your friend pochoy knows that, and he may help you to restrain the thieves or even collect royalties from them.”
Twitter user @geetchsolldar said in Filipino: “They’re great thieves.”
Dakilang magnanakaw nga sila
— Geetchsolldar (@geetchsolldar) May 7, 2019
Do you agree with Alipe? Leave a comment below or tweet us @CoconutsManila.