French President Nicolas Sarkozy may be a law-and-order type of guy, but he may have run afoul of copyright law.
Brooklyn-based musical duo MGMT have threatened to sue Sarkozy and his conservative UMP party over misuse of the band's electro-hippie anthem "Kids" at a party rally in January, as well as on two videos available on the party's Web site.
"Control yourself/Take only what you need from it," goes the ridiculously catchy song's chorus, and apparently the UMP didn't heed that refrain.
The party said it paid about $70 to the French music-licensing organization to use the song at the rally, but MGMT's lawyer says that didn't cover the online usage.
So as additional compensation, the UMP offered the Gallic equivalent of a middle finger — one euro, or about $1.30.
"This offer is disrespectful of the rights of artists and authors. It is insulting," MGMT's attorney Isabelle Wekstein told Agence France-Presse. "We are dealing with acts of counterfeiting, an infringement of intellectual property."
The UMP now says it will explore other ways of compensating the hairy hipsters.
Ironically, Sarkozy's government is pushing a bill through the French parliament that would mandate tougher punishment for online file-sharers, including possibly cutting off Internet access for repeat offenders.
Sarkozy may have a special affection for MGMT, as some of their lyrics parallel his recent life.
"Time to Pretend," another MGMT hit (well, they're hits overseas), mentions a desire to "move to Paris" and "find some models for wives."