Village People send Trump cease and desist after seeing him dance to their songs

Village People send Trump cease and desist after seeing him dance to their songs
Trump shares video of him dancing to YMCA

Village People frontman Victor Willis is once again asking Donald Trump to stop using his music.

Willis, frontman of the American disco group, known for hit singles such as 'Y.M.C.A', 'Macho Man', 'In the Navy', and 'Go West'.

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After a video circulated last week of Trump dancing at Mar-a-Lago to a cover band performing "Macho Man". Village People manager Karen Willis (also the wife of Victor) sent a cease and desist letter addressed to Trump's lawyer Joseph Tacipona.

The letter explains that under the Lanham Act, a copyright law that protects trademark owners against 'consumer confusion', the performance constitutes a violation of the Act. Citing social media posts that believed the performers were the genuine Village People.

Willis writes that the performance at Mar-a-Lago was unauthorised and 'it is requested that he cease and desist any such further unauthorised use of the Village People image in association with the songs and his campaign (or in his personal capacity)'. As to ensure it is not interpreted that Village People endorse the Trump Campaign.

Trump has been known to use Village People songs such as 'Y.M.C.A' and 'Macho Man' at rallies and events over the years. Initially, Willis did not prevent Trump from using his music, writing on Facebook in Feb. 2020 "our music is not being used for a specific endorsement".

However by June 2020, criticising Trump's response to Black Lives Matters protests, Willis added 'I ask that you no longer use any of my music at your rallies'.

At the end of her letter, Willis added that if Trump continues to use 'the Village People trademarked image and trade dress, but of the music as well' they will 'bring suit' to prevent further use.

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