Twitter Removes Trump Video That Used ‘Dark Knight Rises’ After Warner Bros. Takes Legal Action
On Tuesday evening, Twitter removed a video posted by President Donald Trump after Warner’s Bros. Pictures complained that the video contained music from its 2012 movie The Dark Knight Rises, the final film in Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy.
The producers of the short clip did not acquire a license to use the song, resulting in Warner Bros. filing a copyright claim. Twitter then removed the video hours later for violating its policies of copyrighted material.
“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, which some speculate is designed to gain hype for Trump’s 2020 reelection bid, featured images of Democrats Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton juxtaposed with images from Trump’s two years in office. The video also featured a quote which set against the movie’s score, reading, “First they ignore you. Then they laugh at you. Then they call you a racist. Donald J. Trump. Your vote. Proved them all wrong.”
Twitter replaced the video with the message, “This media has been disabled in response to a report by the copyright owner.”
Trump’s campaign claim that it was a supporters video, not the campaign’s.
“We like to share content from diehard supporters, and this is just another example of how hard Trump supporters fight for the President,” the campaign said.
On Wednesday, Trump’s campaign manager Brad Parscale wrote on Twitter, “Sad to see an @ATT owned company pull such a great video made by an every day American in good fun. AT&T now owns @CNN and is positioning themselves as a weapon of the left.”
This isn’t the first time Twitter has taken official action against Trump’s Twitter platform. As in February, it removed a video Trump tweeted that contained copyrighted music from the band R.E.M., which similarly used their song “Everybody Hurts.” But even though Trump regularly breaks Twitter rules, with no repercussions, the company claims that the president’s tweets are newsworthy and therefore should be protected.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 16, 2019
“Elected world leaders play a critical role in that conversation because of their outsized impact on our society,” the company said in a blog post published in January 2018. “Blocking a world leader from Twitter or removing their controversial Tweets, would hide important information people should be able to see and debate. It would also not silence that leader, but it would certainly hamper necessary discussion around their words and actions.” This came after Trump threatened to wage nuclear war against North Korea during escalating tension between the U.S. and North Korea leader Kim Jong-un.