A Trump reelection campaign video soundtracked with a rendition of Linkin Park’s “In the End” was pulled by Twitter Saturday night, after the band filed a copyright-takedown notice demanding its removal.
Linkin Park confirmed Saturday night it had taken action to remove the video. “Linkin Park did not and does not endorse Trump, nor authorize his organization to use any of our music. A cease and desist has been issued,” the group said in a statement on Twitter.
Donald Trump on Saturday (July 18) had tweeted the video, which was previously uploaded by the White House’s head of social media on Friday. A message in that video now reads, “This media has been disabled in response to a report by the copyright owner.”
The Lumen database of DMCA takedown notices shows a July 18 filing from Machine Shop Entertainment, Linkin Park’s business arm and management company, formally requesting the removal of the video under the U.S.’s Digital Millennium Copyright Act law.
Linkin Park did not and does not endorse Trump, nor authorize his organization to use any of our music. A cease and desist has been issued.
— LINKIN PARK | #HybridTheory20 (@linkinpark) July 19, 2020
Linkin Park’s late lead singer Chester Bennington — who died two years ago, on July 20, 2017 — had been strongly anti-Trump. In a post a few months before his death, Bennington tweeted, “I repeat….. Trump is a greater threat to the USA than terrorism!! We have to take back our voices and stand for what we believe in.”
Donald Trump and his campaign have been subject to frequent objections from artists demanding that he stop using their music in his ads or at his rallies. Those include the Rolling Stones, Neil Young, Panic! at the Disco, Pharrell Williams, R.E.M., Aerosmith, Adele, the Village People and Tom Petty’s family.
The version of Linkin Park’s “In the End” that was used in the Trump video was a cover by Tommee Profitt featuring Fleurie and Jung Youth. In a tweet Saturday, Jung Youth wrote, “Earlier today I found out that trump illegally used a cover song that I am part of in a propaganda video which he tweeted…anyone who knows me knows I stand firmly against bigotry and racism. Much love to everyone in the twitter community who helped get the video taken down fr!!”
Regarding the Trump 2020 campaign’s use of the Linkin Park song, Twitter commenters noted the bizarre choice of “In the End.” The lyrics of the song’s chorus are: “I tried so hard / And got so far / But in the end / It doesn’t even matter.”
Trump and his associates have regularly committed copyright-infringement infractions in content posted online.
On July 1, Twitter pulled down a photo Trump posted of himself from a 2015 New York Times feature after the Times filed a DMCA takedown request. In June, Twitter and Facebook deleted a video that Trump shared — which was faked to appear as if it had aired on CNN — after a copyright-infringement claim from the original owner of the video. In addition, Twitter and Facebook pulled a Trump 2020 campaign video that included images and video footage of George Floyd along with protests and riots in the wake of Floyd’s killing by Minneapolis police, acting on a DMCA takedown request from a rights holder of one of the images the campaign video had misappropriated.
Last year, Twitter removed the president’s video that sampled Nickelback’s “Photograph” after Warner Music Group complained as well as a Trump campaign video that used parts of the score for Warner Bros.’ Batman movie “The Dark Knight Rises.”