Trump Campaign Uses 'Dark Knight' Music In Campaign Ad, Warner Bros. Says It's Looking At Legal Options

from the the-infringement-we-deserve dept

Update: As was pointed out by some in the comments and at other media outlets, we want to clarify that the video in quesiton was not created by the Trump campaign, but was instead created by a Reddit user and then passed around the internet by Trump himself and his campaign. None of that really changes the overall point on the hypocrisy of the President, given his widespread use of intellectual property law, nor does it change the laughable response from his campaign manager.

Every political campaign season, which now apparently perpetually overlap and place us all in a never ending and hellish new reality, we always end up hearing about supposed copyright infringement by political campaigns. These claims typically involve music that accompanies candidates at public events, and the claims typically are misguided, as campaigns usually get a blanket license for this music. Still, more recently, we've also seen the occasional use of music by a campaign that actually does appear to be infringement, as both Ted Cruz and Mike Huckabee have found themselves having to defend their use of music on the trail. As you keep that history in your head, place it directly next to the rather infamous view Donald Trump has taken on intellectual property in general, and even on how his campaign has used it jealously in particular.

And then read about how the Trump 2020 campaign decided to release a campaign video that just flat out used music from The Dark Knight for some reason.

President Trump’s latest 2020 campaign video was removed from Twitter Tuesday night after Warner Brothers Entertainment requested it be taken down due to the use of music from “The Dark Knight Rises'” score in the clip.

“The use of Warner Bros.’ score from ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ in the campaign video was unauthorized,” a Warner Brothers spokesperson said in a statement before the removal. “We are working through the appropriate legal channels to have it removed.”

The two-minute video not only utilized Hans Zimmer’s “Why Do We Fall?” from the 2012 threequel, but also shared the font used for the film’s title cards.

What makes this all interesting is, again, Donald Trump's and his family's long history of IP use, enforcement, and their willingness to wield litigation as a cudgel. It seems hypocritical for the Trump campaign to bandy about using well-known movie scores in a campaign advertisement. It's also plainly understandable why Warner Bros. wouldn't want to be seen as backing any particular candidate by remaining silent on the use of its music. While we regularly rail against silly takedowns over copyright, this one seems to make sense.

Or, if you are to believe Trump's campaign manager, Brad Parscale, this is all somehow CNN's fault.

Now, if you think that tweet makes even a modicum of sense, I... just... no. AT&T does indeed own Warner Bros., and CNN too, but it takes more mental yoga than I'm capable of to somehow twist the mind into believing that a takedown of obvious copyright infringement is somehow to do with a parent company's ownership over a long-standing cable news company.

Maybe just don't hypocritically slap a movie's soundtrack onto a campaign ad?

Filed Under: campaign ad, copyright, dark night, donald trump, hans zimmer
Companies: at&t, warner bros.


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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 12 Apr 2019 @ 8:39am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Alreasy a fact there was russian interference in the campaign and people have copped to meeting with and discussing politics with russians. Whether trump himself or his campaign was influenced by russians is unknown.


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