Trump’s Nickelback ‘Photograph’ Video Pulled by Twitter for Copyright Violation

President Donald Trump listens to a
Evan Vucci/AP/REX/Shutterstock

Donald Trump, trying to smear Joe Biden and his son over their supposedly illicit business dealings in Ukraine, used Nickelback’s 2005 “Photograph” in a tweet Wednesday.

Now the video has been pulled down by Twitter. As of Thursday morning, the video in Trump’s tweet was no longer available. Instead, it included a message that said, “Video not displayed: This video has been removed in response to a report from the copyright holder.”

In the tweet, Trump posted in all caps, “LOOK AT THIS PHOTOGRAPH!” The video used a clip from Nickelback’s music video for the song showing bandmember Chad Kroeger holding up a picture frame — doctored to display a 2014 photo showing Joe and Hunter Biden on a golf course with Devon Archer, a colleague of Hunter identified as “Ukraine gas exec” in the now-deleted video. As BuzzFeed’s Paul McLeod noted, the photo surfaced by Trump and his cronies is misleading: If, as alleged, the picture is from 2014, then Archer and Hunter Biden “were already in business together and joined the board [of natural gas company Burisma] more or less together.”

Twitter disabled the video in Trump’s tweet after Warner Music Group, owner of the record label that released Nickelback’s “Photograph,” sent the social network a DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) takedown notice on Oct. 2 citing copyright infringement.

In recent days, Trump has been furiously attacking his perceived enemies on Twitter and elsewhere, as he faces a House impeachment inquiry over his call with Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelensky in which he asked for a “favor” including pressing Zelensky to produce damaging intel on the Bidens.

It’s not the first run-in for Trump with violating copyright rules.

In April of this year, Warner Bros. took legal action against a Trump 2020 campaign video — which Twitter quickly pulled down — that used parts of the score for Batman flick “The Dark Knight Rises.” HBO also has objected to Trump’s use of “Game of Thrones” imagery in his tweets.

Trump’s use of the hackneyed Nickelback “Photograph” meme inspired numerous Twitter users to respond in kind. Several posted photographs showing Trump with Jeffrey Epstein, the financier charged with sex trafficking who died by suicide in a New York jail in August.

While Trump has on several instances violated Twitter’s other rules of conduct, including those prohibiting harassment and hate speech, the social platform has carved out an exemption for political figures like Trump. In June, Twitter said that for posts from politicians that would ordinarily be deleted for policy violations — but which it will allow to remain on the service under a “public interest” standard — it will show users a warning notice in front of tweets requiring them to click through to view the post.