back to article Make America Infringe Again: Trump campaign video pulled over Batman copyright

A video for President Trump's 2020 re-election campaign has been pulled offline for copyright infringement. The two-minute ad, which featured Trump walking around to a thunderous soundtrack that happens to be the score of the movie Dark Knight Rises, appeared yesterday but was swiftly taken down after the copyright owner – …

  1. 45RPM Silver badge

    What a colossal bunch of bell-ends. It’s bad enough that they come up with ridiculously over-baroque laws like DMCA, it’s quite another that they think that they can blatantly flout all copyright law (even that which is reasonable). One law for Trump and the GOP, another law for everyone else.

    Now I realise that some people will point out that Hillary doesn’t exactly have scrupulously clean hands but I get the feeling that she genuinely wants to do the right thing overall (even if she unscrupulously cuts corners along the way) and at least if she did bend a few laws she wouldn’t rub everyone’s nose in it.

    Put another way, if the Left and the Right were dogs then they’d both shit on the pavement - but the Right wing dog would do it in the middle, where maximum footfall is, in plain sight and then deny it, whilst the Left wing dog would discretely wait until it thought no one was looking and lay it (mostly) out of the main path.

    1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

      1. veti Silver badge

        That's right, it's nothing to do with Trump wanting to prove that the media and establishment are still conspiring against him.

        As for Hillary - well, if we're going to judge people by "whose coattails they used to gain power", I'd rather vote for a woman who stayed with her philandering husband than a man who accepted the support of David Duke.

    2. Blank Reg

      "Hillary doesn’t exactly have scrupulously clean hands"

      $100 million wasted over decades of investigations and not a single charge, I'd say her hands are about as clean as can be.

      1. Goit

        Do Bleachbit do hand wash?

    3. Eddy Ito Silver badge

      That's just silly, clearly the dogs would shit on opposite sides of the road where the opposing foot traffic would fall, both in clear view and, if they could, they'd piss on your shoes as you walked past as well. I mean the DMCA passed with a unanimous vote IIRC. Not so much as a peep of dissent from either side.

      Meh, the Trump campaign isn't the first and won't be the last to fall foul of the silly fair use eliminating law.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Certainly not the first

        https://www.eff.org/takedowns/nbc-issues-takedown-viral-obama-ad

    4. Glenturret Single Malt

      And discreetly too.

  2. Hollerithevo Silver badge

    Let's move along

    It's not Hillary Clinton vs Donald Trump. That was over two year ago. Looking back to shoot at enemies doesn't seem a good strategy as they fade into history and we face a rather different world.

    I personally would love to have Peter Buttigieg and Donald Trump talk about the vision thing and the issues, live on TV. I'd bring popcorn.

    1. find users who cut cat tail

      Re: Let's move along

      It's not Hillary Clinton vs Donald Trump.

      Now somebody should explain that to Mr. Trump.

      1. Fungus Bob Silver badge

        Re: Let's move along

        Why?

  3. jelabarre59 Silver badge

    maybe Batman

    But we thought Donald Trump *WAS* Batman...

    I mean, you can understand the potential confusion to the people making the video...

    1. Someone Else Silver badge

      Re: maybe Batman

      No, it's only Donald Trump that thinks Donald Trump is Batman.

      1. defiler Silver badge
        Mushroom

        Re: maybe Batman

        I can see it already. There's a bomb set to destroy Gotham (again...), and the "stop" button on the timer is in an indestructible box with a small hole over the button.

        Commissioner Gordon: We need someone with small hands! A child, perhaps!

        Police lackey: But sir, all the children have been evacuated. It's hopeless!

        [Batman swoops down dramatically from the rooftops.]

        Batman: I hear you gentlemen are having a small handful of trouble?

        [Batman reaches his curiously small hands into the box and presses the button, cancelling the timer and simultaneously revealing his secret identity.]

        Police lackey: [gasp] It's Bruce J Wayne!

        Batman: Commisioner Gordon, I need this man sent away to an internment camp immediately.

        Commissioner Gordon: Right away, Batman. And thank you.

        [Brief scene of Catwoman poledancing while Bruce goes around grabbing all the dancers in a strip bar. Music rises. Fade to black.]

        This movie stuff is easy! I believe it's time to give up my day-job! Icon for the bomb in the box.

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
          Happy

          Re: maybe Batman

          "This movie stuff is easy! I believe it's time to give up my day-job! Icon for the bomb in the box."

          Nah, trying to dress up a porn movie script as a superhero blockbuster doesn't work all that well. Stick the porn movies and you'll be fine :-p

    2. FlossyThePig

      Re: maybe Batman

      ...But we thought Donald Trump *WAS* Batman...

      ...and there was me thinking he was Kung Fu Orange Panda...

    3. Arthur the cat Silver badge

      Re: maybe Batman

      But we thought Donald Trump *WAS* Batman...

      I think Trump is an easy peel orange. He's the right colour, he's got a thin skin and it's very easy to get under it.

    4. JJKing Bronze badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: maybe Batman

      But we thought Donald Trump *WAS* Batman...

      But we know that Donald Trump *IS* Batty man...

      FTFY

      1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        Re: maybe Batman

        Donald Trump *IS* Batty man..

        Were you aware of the meaning of that phrase in the Afro-Caribbean community? It helps if you change the 'a' in 'batty' to an 'o'..

    5. This post has been deleted by its author

  4. Someone Else Silver badge

    And this surprises you how?

    It is remarkable that the White House comms team didn't seek to license the music, perhaps because they were concerned it wouldn't be approved.

    Well, given Herr Drumpf's absolute disdain for any of the laws of the country1, that his campaign staff ran this out in clear violation of said laws should surprise no one with a pulse, and most of those without one. Of course WB wouldn't grant this asshole rights. Just more lawlessness from the Law-Breaker in Chief.

    1Except, of course, the Libel laws, which he wants strengthened to insure he can pop anybody who has the audacity to state that the Emperor has no clothes. That law he'll insure gets enforced.

    1. tfewster Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: And this surprises you how?

      I seem to recall previous complaints about Presidential campaigns using music without permission, notably by artists who were opposed to that candidate, were overridden because Presidential campaigns had an exemption from the law. Though a quick Google proves me wrong

  5. Ribfeast

    I can't wait for the final season of America!

    1. defiler Silver badge

      I love the exclamation mark - is that part of the title? "America!" would be much more exciting than "America". Bit like "Airplane!"

    2. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

      I can't wait for the final season of America!

      More gore than Game of Thrones?

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Game of Ovals, Part II - The Fappening!

    3. Morpho Devilpepper
      Mushroom

      You can't wait?

      Neither can America, trust me. Things are bound to get worse once Trump tries to annex Poland, following the blueprints of his ideological predecessor.

  6. Johnny Canuck

    In olden days...

    We had empires run by emperors, and kingdoms run by kings. Now we have countries run by... er, you figure it out.

    1. Rameses Niblick the Third Kerplunk Kerplunk Whoops Where's My Thribble? Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: In olden days...

      Counts?

      You mean counts, right?

      I'm fairly sure he means counts.

      I'm going with counts.

      Now personally, if I'd had to answer that question, I'd have suggested "Outrageous fucking cockwombles who wouldn't recognise the concept of "Civic Duty" if it broke in to their home, shat on the carpet and stole the cat" but it doesn't scan so well.

  7. koolholio
    FAIL

    ASCAP and Warner Bros Copyright records missing

    There is no record of the works in ASCAP or Warner Bros/Chappell Music's music licensing databases... Bit of a legal dilemma for WMG and Hans Florian Zimmer to begin with, what would be the legal basis? an exemption filed with ASCAP or 'image'?! This is like trying to claim copyright when there is no US Copyright Office record of the copyright or licensing, let alone claiming a 'use' argument... The score states as of 2013, Warner Olive Music LLC (all rights - ASCAP) ... I'm sure the political campaign has a valid and appropriate political campaign ASCAP license as per this document: https://www.ascap.com/~/media/files/pdf/advocacy-legislation/political_campaign.pdf

    Hans and WMG would have to prove they are not acting out of political discrimination, and provide a reasonable way to license the use of such.

    To conclude in my opinion as a BMI registered songwriter/musician: The only claim that would be valid is Hans Florian Zimmer's 'creators copyright' under the Berne Convention (Part of UCC and it's applicable treaties under the UN).

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      provide a reasonable way to license the use of such.

      There probably is a reasonable way to license the use of the music... however from what I have read no attempt to license it was made

    2. Cuddles Silver badge

      Re: ASCAP and Warner Bros Copyright records missing

      "This is like trying to claim copyright when there is no US Copyright Office record of the copyright or licensing"

      In other words, not a problem at all. Copyright exists from the moment a work is created, with no requirement to register or license it in any way.

      "Hans and WMG would have to prove they are not acting out of political discrimination, and provide a reasonable way to license the use of such."

      No they wouldn't. There is no requirement that any work must be available to be licensed for use by others. A copyright owner can allow or refuse the use of their property to anyone they like without any need to provide a reason. Even the ASCAP link you obliging provided explicitly states that any works that would usually be available under a general license can be withdrawn for specific political campaigns with no restrictions or provisos, and that even if a license is granted a user could still be subject to both civil and criminal action under a variety of other non-copyright related laws, including an artist being allowed to sue simply because they don't like being associated with a particular political campaign.

    3. JohnFen Silver badge

      Re: ASCAP and Warner Bros Copyright records missing

      "This is like trying to claim copyright when there is no US Copyright Office record of the copyright or licensing"

      ...which is perfectly legal. Copyright applies the instant the work is fixed in a tangible medium. Registration is not a requirement.

  8. Winkypop Silver badge
    Alert

    New Batman villian?

    "The Black Hole"

    America is definitely circling the drain under the influence of Trump.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: New Batman villian?

      I think the circling is done, it's just waiting for the Russians to put the plug back in to keep away the stench.

  9. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

    Predictable

    Ah yes. the old “we ignore the law because it would have stopped us from doing what we want” excuse. Normally works fine over there, I wonder what happened..

    What I find interesting is the tacit acceptance that they made a mess of the job. The incessant repeating of "make America great again" seems to me implicitly acknowledging that it either hasn't happened yet, or that they screwed up..

    1. Teiwaz Silver badge

      Re: Predictable

      The incessant repeating of "make America great again" seems to me implicitly acknowledging that it either hasn't happened yet

      But if you change great to grate everything swims into focus, as it's working.

      1. DontFeedTheTrolls
        Joke

        Re: Predictable

        You can't have HATRED without a RED HAT

        1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

          Re: Predictable

          You can't have HATRED without a RED HAT

          Especially when they went with systemd as the default..

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Predictable

            Especially when they went with systemd as the default..

            Now, now, no need to get offensive

            :)

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Herr Trump

    Once again, he and his cronies seem to think they can do anything like like and be above the law with no repercussions. Not seen the video but the description does sound very syrupy and sickly!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Herr Trump

      he and his cronies seem to think they can do anything like like and be above the law with no repercussions

      So far, that assertion appears to be depressingly correct :(

    2. Morpho Devilpepper

      Re: Herr Trump

      It's easy when one stuffs the judicial branch with lackeys and crooks, most of which Mitch McConnell is glad to rubber-stamp, after 8 years of stonewalling Obama's moderate nominees.

      Can my wife and I come live in Europe?

  11. GruntyMcPugh Silver badge

    Er hold on,....

    "the Mueller report finding there was no collusion with Russia"

    I thought the report concluded they hadn't found any, not that there was none to be found. You know “while this report does not conclude that the president committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him”.

    Absence of evidence not being evidence of absence, and all that.

    1. MiguelC Silver badge

      Re: Er hold on,....

      We can't even be sure of that, as the report is not public. The only things we know about it are a summary done by a Trump crony and rumours about people involved in the making of the report saying that it's worse than what's been released.

      Go figure.

      1. JohnFen Silver badge

        Re: Er hold on,....

        And the summary that the Trump crony gave us said explicitely that the report does not exonerate Trump.

        Oh, and Barr also explicitly said it's not even a summary.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The whataboutery of Hillary

    She isn't relevant here - if someone is trying to divert criticism of Trump by pointing elsewhere, simply ask why they would do this. What need is served by not admitting Trump is corrupt.

  13. AIBailey

    Wrong choice of film music

    He should have gone with "From Russia with Love".

    1. Francis Boyle Silver badge

      Re: Wrong choice of film music

      Or just grabbed "Octopussy".

  14. Crisp Silver badge

    Well he's stolen everything else....

    Why is anyone surprised?

  15. JJKing Bronze badge
    Devil

    Ode to the Chinese made hat. Good 'ole Traditional Merkin Manufacturing of the POTUS Family.

    ♫ The MAGA hat is falsely red,

    It covering Drumpf's smarmy head

    And when the citizens grow stiff and cold,

    Their hearts' blood dyed, Drumpf steels their gold. ♫

    ♫ So raise the phony red hat high,

    Beneath its shadow all will die,

    Though Drumpf will flinch and Drumpf will sneer,

    He'll keep the red hat hiding his hair. ♫

  16. the Jim bloke Silver badge
    Facepalm

    We can expect at least one more "sex scandal"

    to emerge about Trump when he wants to distract everyone from whatever inadequacy or stupidity he has been indulging in.

    His opponents will take the bait and give him free publicity, telling everyone what a terrible, immoral person he is.

    But for Trumps voter base, extra-marital affairs with pornstars, models, and even prostitutes (sufficiently expensive, of course), are ASPIRATIONAL

  17. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

    ‘Copyright wars are good, and easy to win’

    Um... perhaps not, eh?

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