Apparently even Donald Trump is not immune to copyright takedown. On Friday, the president tweeted a mocking video on "Everybody Hurts" by R.E.M. on the reaction of the Democrats to the State of the Union, originally created by a guy who used the pseudonym "Carpe Donktum" and best known for winning an Infowars meme contest. At the beginning of Saturday ET, CNBC reported, the video was removed after R.E.M. the Universal Music Publishing Group publisher, as well as bassist Mike Mills, complained.
You are right. Trump and R.E.M. had a fight and R.E.M. he won.
Toward the end of Friday, CNBC wrote, Twitter users attempting to reproduce the clip saw a message stating, "This video was removed in response to a report from the copyright holder." The same tweet (which the president had pinned on top of his power) seems to have been deleted at some point from then on.
As CNBC wrote, this is not the first time the president has had a dispute with a copyright holder – in the past he had The Rolling Stones complained about his use of music during election rallies, as well as being robbed game of ThronesThe slogan (and the character) of the signature:
Trump has criticized the use of copyrighted content before: "Rolling Stones" "You can not always get what you want" was often used at the end of the Trump campaign and has been used in Trump events since it became President. The band invited Trump to stop using the song, without success.
In November, Trump tweeted an image of himself with the text overlay "Sanctions are coming", which HBO has taken as a clear reference to his series "The Throne of Swords". At the time HBO said that "they would prefer that our brand not be exploited for political purposes", but the president's tweet was not shot down.
Nor is it the first time that the president tweeted a video that the platform has decided to break down. After Trump retweeted several anti-Muslim tweets from the fringe, Britain's far-right British political organization, Twitter suspended the group's Twitter account, automatically removing videos from the president's feed. Facebook has also knocked down a racist advertisement of the Trump campaign at the end of 2018.
"Carpe Donktum" replied on Twitter complaining about the platforms that monetize or remove their contents, as well as linking up with another tweet that has been removed since then. They also tweeted another copy of the video.
While telling the president to go for a walk, it's all right, the proliferation of requests to remove copyright on the major web platforms has become a bitter problem in recent years. The platforms leaned back to avoid legal action against copyright infringement, which led to critical conclusions.
As recently reported by BuzzFeed News, removal requests can be used to remove embarrassing content, and a recent article in Verge highlighted how YouTube's highly automated copyright complaint system can be used to harass enemies or serve as a vehicle for attempted extortion. In many cases, platforms have decided to also remove content that falls into categories of legitimate and fair use, rather than risk going to court.
Twitter, whose glacial approach to content moderation is so confused and vague that its CEO Jack Dorsey recently only committed himself to having a "speech" if Trump ordered his followers to kill journalists, he seemed to have no problems cut all the bureaucracy to comply with a removal for copyright infringement.