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Village People Member Sends Donald Trump Cease-And-Desist Over Mar-a-Lago Impersonators
A member of disco group Village People has asked Donald Trump to stop using their music on his presidential campaign trail.
A member of disco group Village People is once again asking former president Donald Trump to refrain from using their music at campaign stops. Victor Willis, lead singer of the musical group, issued a cease-and-desist letter to the twice-impeached president, after seeing footage from Mar-a-Lago showing Trump dancing along to the group’s 1978 song “Macho Man.” A group of people dressed like the “Y.M.C.A.” band danced alongside him.
The Village People lead singer sent Trump a cease and desist over a performance of "Macho Man" at Mar-a-Lago: pic.twitter.com/meHYWMOjgf
— Aidan McLaughlin (@aidnmclaughlin) May 15, 2023
Wills’ wife, Karen Willis, called the performance “unauthorized” also sharing that “many fans, and the general public as well, mistakenly believe” they partook in the occasion. Willis claims that the performance was a violation of the copyright law the Lanham Act, which protects copyright owners “against the use of similar marks if such use is likely to result in consumer confusion.”
Willis says that the trademark law “protects against the unauthorized use of the Village People image and trade dress. To be certain, the use of the group’s image and likeness at Mar-a-Lago was unauthorized. Though my husband has tolerated your client’s use of his Village People music, we cannot allow such use by him to cause public confusion as to endorsement.”
The Mar-a-Lago performance is the most recent that Victor Willis has demanded that Trump stop using Village People’s music, which the 76-year-old has played at political rallies and events over the years. In a February 2020 Facebook post, Willis said that he asked Trump to stop because “our music is not being used for a specific endorsement.”However, Trump persisted, playing “Y.M.C.A.” at a farewell event in 2021. Similar to Village People, the estate of musician Issac Hayes has threatened legal action against Trump after Sam & Dave song “Hold On, I’m Coming” was used at an event announcing Trump’s third presidential candidacy.
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