Donald Trump Slapped With Copyright Claim Over Linkin Park Song

Impeached US president, Donald Trump, has once again found himself at the receiving end of a copyright claim. This time, it’s over a Linkin Park song.

It’s happened again. Impeached US president, Donald Trump, has been slapped with another copyright violation. This time, it is over another campaign ad via Twitter. Apparently, the ad contained a rendition of Linkin Park’s track, In The End. From MxDwn:

President Donald Trump has pulled an video created for his re-election campaign due to a copyright claim filed against him. The fan-made video, which had featured a cover of Linkin Park’s “In The End,” was pulled from President Trump’s Twitter account shortly after being posted on Saturday.

Trump’s post now reads the notice, “This media has been disabled in response to a report by the copyright owner.”

The video had featured Trump’s inauguration speech, with slow sounds of “In The End” creeping in the background. Footage of Trump’s campaign rallies spliced with battleships, machinery and rockets were shown, Trump walking across stages and standing in front of the Lincoln Memorial.

Linkin Park’s late frontman, Chester Bennington, had been vocal in his disdain for Trump’s presidency. Bennington had posted on on Twitter prior to his death in 2017 that he believed “Trump is a greater threat to the USA than terrorism.”

The incident caused Linkin Park to trend on Twitter last night. A number of people posting about Linkin Park seemed to think that Linkin Park themselves filed the claim and were happy about it. The thing about music and copyright is that it could very easily have been the record label that filed the claim in the first place. We were going to look it up, but it appears that Variety already did the legwork and found the complaint via the Lumen Database.

It turns out, the actual complaint was, indeed, filed by the label, Machine Shop Entertainment. Variety also pointed to a statement by the band which reads as follows:

Linkin Park did not and does not endorse Trump, nor authorize his organization to use any of our music. A cease and desist has been issued.

Some might point to the fact that this is a rendition of the track and not the track itself. Of course, if this case ever moved ahead, Linkin Park would easily win. The case would centre around moral rights. If the intellectual property in question is used in a context that the creator objects to, then they can exercise their moral rights to have that work taken down. It’s basically a slam dunk case for Linkin Park here.

In the time since, Trump has deleted the Tweet in question which would otherwise show a notice about a video being taken down due to a copyright claim.

This isn’t the first time Trump’s re-election campaign ran into copyright problems. Back in June, during the Tulsa rally, the Trump campaign used a song by the Rolling Stones. The Rolling Stones said that they didn’t want their music to be associated with the campaign, yet the song was used anyway. From The Guardian at the time:

The Rolling Stones are threatening Donald Trump with legal action for using their songs at his rallies despite cease-and-desist directives.

The Stones said in a statement on Sunday that their legal team was working with the music rights organisation BMI to stop the use of their material in Trump’s re-election campaign.

The BMI has notified the US president’s campaign on behalf of the group that the unauthorised use of their songs will constitute a breach of its licensing agreement, the statement said.

If Trump disregards the exclusion and persists, he will face a lawsuit for breaking the embargo and playing music that has not been licensed. The Stones had complained during Trump’s 2016 campaign about the use of their music to fire up his conservative base at rallies.

The 1969 classic You Can’t Always Get What You Want was a popular song for his events. It was played again at the close of Trump’s recent rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, an indoor event criticised for its potential to spread the coronavirus.

As a side note, the rally was, in fact, blamed for a surge in COVID19 cases in the area.

At any rate, that case is pretty much identical to the Linkin Park case. The Rolling Stones can easily argue that this is about moral rights and they would win.

In early June, another Trump tweet that featured a campaign ad was taken down by an unknown claimant. We also reported on the CNN doctored video that was also DMCAd and taken down on Twitter.

So, at this point, we can count at least four times Trump has been slapped with copyright claims. For a president who likes to scream “law & order”, this isn’t a good look.

Drew Wilson on Twitter: @icecube85 and Facebook.

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