Former Linkin Park frontman Chester Bennington, who died three years ago, was outspoken against the president

By Benjamin VanHoose
July 21, 2020 10:03 AM
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Linkin Park
James Minchin

Linkin Park isn't standing by while one of their songs is used as a political tool.

On Saturday, Twitter removed a video that used the band's 2002 hit, "In the End," to accompany a re-election campaign ad for President Donald Trump. Trump, 74, and the White House's head of social media Dan Scavino's original post now displays the message: "This media has been disabled in response to a report by the copyright owner."

The Grammy-winning group posted on Twitter that they do not condone Trump's usage of their music. "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," read the statement.

According to Lumen's records of takedowns under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), Linkin Park's managing company, Machine Shop Entertainment, filed a notice to Twitter on Saturday to take action against the video.

Monday marked three years since the band's frontman, Chester Bennington, died by suicide at age 41 on July 20, 2017. The artist was vocal in his disapproval of Trump, even tweeting months before his death that the president is "a greater threat to the USA than terrorism!!"

"We have to take back our voices and stand for what we believe in," he continued at the time.

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A number of musicians and bands have spoken out against Trump and other campaigns for using their repertoire for political means, including R.E.M.Rihanna and Panic! at the Disco.

Guns N' Roses is also very much against Trump employing their tunes at campaign events. Back in November 2018, Axl Rose posted a series of tweets bashing the band's catalog being used at the president's rallies.

"Just so ya know... GNR like a lot of artists opposed to the unauthorized use of their music at political events has formally requested r music not b used at Trump rallies or Trump associated events," he wrote at the time.

Rose, 58, quickly jabbed: "Personally I kinda liked the irony of Trump supporters listening to a bunch of anti Trump music at his rallies but I don't imagine a lot of 'em really get that or care."

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Aerosmith also clarified that they didn't sign off on Trump using their song "Livin' on the Edge" at an August 2018 event in Charleston, West Virginia. Lead singer Steven Tyler sent the president a cease and desist letter ordering him to stop using the band’s music at his rallies.

"I do not let anyone use my songs without my permission," Tyler, 72, said in a statement at the time. "My music is for causes not political campaigns or rallies. Protecting copyright and songwriters is what I’ve been fighting for even before this current administration took office."

"This is one of the reasons why [Aerosmith guitarist Joe Perry] and I have been pushing the Senate to pass the Music Modernization Act," he added. "NO is a complete sentence."