Tobi Vail issues copyright infringement notice to Hillary Clinton ‘Rebel Girl’ video

UPDATED at 3:12pm with comments from Tobi Vail

You know that obnoxious “viral” video that’s been going around that uses Bikini Kill’s riot grrrl classic “Rebel Girl” to try to make Hillary Clinton look like some sort of radical feminist revolutionary? If you haven’t seen it yet you’re probably not going to, because Bikini Kill founding member Tobi Vail killed it dead with a prompt copyright infringement notice.

We know this because now when you try to hate-watch the video, it tells you Ms. Vail made YouTube take it down:


For anyone with even a passing familiarity with Vail’s politics, it’s not hard to see why she might not want her band’s song associated with such a politically regressive figure…”When she talks, I hear the revolution” being a laughable sentiment to associate with someone who sat on the board of Walmart during their prime union-busting years.

But don’t take my word for it. A glance at her Twitter account confirms Vail is voting for Bernie Sanders. Via her Twitter bio:

“I’m voting for Bernie Sanders.”

She’s also tweeted links to several articles detailing exactly why Sanders is a better and more progressive choice of candidate than Clinton, which I encourage you to click on and read:


UPDATE: To get some additional info on the matter, I emailed Tobi Vail to see what she had to say. Over email, she emphasized that this decision was not about her personal politics, but the will of scores of Bikini Kill fans. Also, you must get permission from all the members of Bikini Kill in order to use their music in something, and that “something” cannot be a commercial, so this was obviously never going to fly (the following comment also appears on Facebook):

Dude, I was seriously trying to just ignore it (because I’m not so into telling people what to do and that song has a life of its own and I’m just one person in the group Etc Etc ) but Bikini Kill fans and friends would not allow it. Since it’s basically an advertisement I just contacted YouTube and told them to contact Terror Bird Media who represent us for licensing. But we don’t authorize use of our songs in advertisements so…this should be the end of it, I hope! It’s funny that it says my name, I must have done something wrong when I filled out the form, ha.

When asked if she was getting a lot of messages, she replied:

Yeah in the past 24 hours or something every few minutes someone would email or message me or tag me, I guess it was getting a lot of shares.

I just filled out the copyright violation form because I couldn’t find another way to tell them they need to seek permission for use from the whole band and that seemed like the only way to contact anyone. Bikini Kill is a collective, we collectively own our entire catalog including songwriting, so in order for a song to be used they need to have the permission of the whole band. The easiest way to seek permission for use is to go through TerrorBird Media, the company that represents us for licensing. So I was just trying to get them to go through the proper channels so that we could make a collective decision. For now, it’s just been taken down.

Anyhow, I don’t represent the whole band with my political opinions on Twitter or whatever! So you’d have to ask the rest of the group their opinions but hopefully this will be the end of it.

Another question to consider: Was this truly a “fan video” that just happened to be re-tweeted by Clinton’s campaign chair John Podesta, or yet another tone-deaf creation of the Clinton campaign designed to go “viral” and appeal to us riot grrrl loving millennials? I doubt we’ll find out, but crazier things have happened in this election.

[Photo via]