After Brooklyn-based indie rock band MGMT released their single “Kids” on October 13, 2008, the song became very popular. Rolling Stone listed it in the top 50 Best Songs of the 2000s, and the song’s official music video now has over 58 million YouTube views.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy and his political party, Union Pour Un Mouvement Populaire (UMP), also loved the song. In 2009, they played “Kids” at a national congress, meetings, and in internet videos – but without the band’s permission, and without paying them.
MGMT threatened to sue, pointing out the irony that the UMP was simultaneously trying to pass anti-piracy legislation. The UMP offered to pay the band a symbolic gesture – one euro – for its unintentional copyright infringement. MGMT called that offer insulting, and the band’s lawyers eventually worked out a settlement with the UMP. MGMT donated the 30,000 euros they received from the UMP settlement to artists’ rights organizations.